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What Are the Causes of Brain Cancer?

by Jill Richards
  • Overview

    Brain cancer can be primary, meaning the tumor began in the brain, or secondary, where it started in another part of the body, like the lung or breast, and then spread to the brain. According to the National Cancer Institute, brain tumors tend to occur in children under 12 and adults over 40. They can be malignant or benign. While scientists have not pinpointed the exact cause of brain cancer, research has shown that there are risk factors that make certain people more vulnerable.
  • Race

    Whites are more likely to be diagnosed with brain cancer than other ethnicities.
  • Age

    Those between the ages of 40 and 70 are more likely to get brain cancer.
  • Occupation

    Workers in industries such as such as oil refining, rubber manufacturing and drug manufacturing are more often diagnosed with brain tumors. Other studies have shown that those exposed to chemicals or radiation on the job have a higher incidence of brain tumors.
  • Family History

    A genetic link may mean brain cancers run in certain families, though this appears to happen in only a small amount of cases.
  • Cell Phones

    Though research is currently being conducted, no evidence has been found linking cellular phone use and brain tumors.

    References & Resources