The exact cause of brain tumors are unknown. Why some people get brain tumors while others don’t is a yet unanswered question. However, studies have shown that people with certain features are under higher risk. The risk factors below increase the chance of person having a brain tumor:
- Male sex: Brain tumors are usually more common in men. The only exception is meningiomas, which are more common in women.
- Ethnicity: Brain tumors are more common in white people.
- Age: Most brain tumors are seen in people more than 70 years of age. However, brain tumors are also the second most common tumors in childhood. There are seen more commonly in children under 8.
- Family history: Patients who have a history of gliomas in their family are more likely to develop gliomas.
Some of the known potential carcinogens are listed below:
1- Nitrite and nitrite derivatives (in some food preservatives)
2- Radiation. Workers in nuclear industry have an increased risk of brain tumors.
3- Acrylonitrile. People working in textile and plastic industries can be exposed to acrylonitrile and this increases the risk of brain tumors.
4- Formaldehyde. Pathologists and other professions with high exposure to formaldehyde have an increased risk of brain tumors.
5- Vinyl chloride. People working in plastic manufacturing can be exposed to vinyl chloride. This chemical increases the risk of brain tumors.
So far, studies could not prove a link between mobile phones and cancer. However, living close to radio-television receivers, powerlines and transformers is known to be a risk factor.