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Causes of Brain Cancer

The exact causes of brain cancer are still under investigation. However, brain cancer research has shown that people with certain risk factors, such as being male or Caucasian, are more likely than others to develop the disease. While these risk factors are not necessarily causes of the disease, they may act together to increase a person's risk of developing it.

What Causes Brain Cancer?

No one knows the exact brain cancer cause or causes, and doctors can seldom explain why one person will get brain cancer and another person will not. However, brain cancer research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop brain cancer. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chances of developing a disease.
 

Know the Risk Factors

While risk factors are not causes of the condition, studies have found a number of factors that may increase a person's risk of developing it. Specific risk factors for developing a primary brain tumor include:
 
  • Being male
  • Race
  • Age
  • Family history
  • Exposure to radiation or certain chemicals.
     
Being Male
In general, brain tumors are more common in males than in females. However, meningiomas are more common in females.
 
Race
Brain tumors occur more often in Caucasians than in people of other races.
 
Age
Most brain tumors are detected in people who are 70 years of age or older. However, brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. (Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.) Brain tumors are most common in children younger than 8 years of age.
 
Family History
People with family members who have gliomas may be more likely to develop this disease.
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