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Brain Cancer Causes Are Not Always Easily Determined, But Certain Factors May Contribute to Risk

Diagram of a human brain and its blood supplyThe individual causes of brain cancer are not always clear. There are two types of brain tumors: primary and secondary. Secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors are defined by the fact that they are caused by existing cancers, such as lung cancer or melanoma, metastasizing and spreading to the brain. Primary brain tumors, which are tumors that originate in the brain and are generally categorized by their location, tend to be caused by factors that are difficult or impossible to determine. Although specific brain cancer causes tend to be unclear, researchers have found that there are a few risk factors that may influence the likelihood of developing a primary brain tumor, including the following:
  • Certain genetic conditions such as tuberous sclerosis and von Hippel-Lindau disease, may increase the risk of brain tumors.
  • Exposure to vinyl chloride may create an increased risk of developing a glioma, a tumor beginning in the cells that surround and support the nerve cells.
  • Ionizing radiation from sources such as high-dose X-rays may increase the risk of a tumor developing due to cell damage.
  • Cigarette smoking has also been linked to cancers of the brain.
The symptoms that brain cancer causes often include headaches, memory problems, and issues with balance, coordination, hearing, speaking, and seeing. Anyone experiencing these and other symptoms of a brain tumor should consult a physician for proper diagnosis.
Tampa General Hospital is a leading destination for individuals with cancer of the brain. Our team of medical professionals are highly trained to diagnose and treat a wide variety of brain, spine, and peripheral nervous system cancers. Our surgeons are all fellowship trained and are leaders in the field of skull base surgery. Working closely together with colleagues in medical and radiation oncology, our team can develop a treatment plan tailored to each patient’s individual needs. We use advanced techniques and equipment to minimize the impact that brain cancer surgery causes.