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RISKS AND CAUSES OF BRAIN TUMOURS

Updated: Mar 14, 2023

Risks and causes of brain tumours are not fully understood, but there are several factors that have been associated with an increased risk of developing a brain tumour.

  • Age: The risk of developing a brain tumour increases with age. Most brain tumours occur in people over the age of 55.

  • Gender: Brain tumours are more common in men than in women.

  • Family history: A family history of brain tumours may increase a person's risk of developing one.

  • Exposure to radiation: Exposure to ionising radiation, such as that used in X-rays or radiation therapy, may increase the risk of developing a brain tumour.

  • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of some cancer types, including a type of brain tumour called meningioma. About 2 out of 100 brain tumours (2%) diagnosed in the UK every year are caused by being overweight or obese.

  • Certain genetic conditions: People with certain genetic conditions, such as neurofibromatosis or Li-Fraumeni syndrome, have an increased risk of developing a brain tumour.

  • Chemical exposure: Exposure to certain chemicals, such as benzene, has been linked to an increased risk of developing a brain tumour.

  • Cell phone use: Some studies have suggested a link between heavy cell phone use and an increased risk of brain tumours, but this has not been definitively proven.

It is important to note that many people with these risk factors never develop a brain tumour, and conversely, some people with no known risk factors can still develop one. The causes of brain tumours are complex and not fully understood, and more research is needed to determine the exact causes and risk factors.

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