What Causes Brain Tumors?

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  • The causes of brain tumors are not known. Researchers are trying to solve this problem. The more they can find out about the causes of brain tumors, the better the chances of finding ways to prevent them.

    Doctors cannot explain why one person gets a brain tumor and another doesn’t, but they do know that brain tumors are not contagious

    Although brain tumors can occur at any age, studies show that they are most common in two age groups. The first group is children 3 to 12 years old; the second is adults 40 to 70 years old.

    By studying large numbers of patients, researchers have found certain risk factors that increase a person’s chance of developing a brain tumor. People with these risk factors have a higher-than-average risk of getting a brain tumor. For example, studies show that some types of brain tumors are more frequent among workers in certain industries, such as oil refining, rubber manufacturing, and drug manufacturing.

     Researchers also are looking at exposure to viruses as a possible cause. Because brain tumors sometimes occur in several members of the same family, researchers are studying families with a history of brain tumors to see whether heredity is a cause. At this time, scientists do not believe that head injuries cause brain tumors to develop.

    In most cases, patients with a brain tumor have no clear risk factors. The disease is probably the result of several factors acting together.