A risk factor is something that enhances the likelihood of contracting a disease. The majority of brain tumors have no recognized cause. According to research, there are a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood of getting brain tumors.
1. Ionization Radiation
A high dosage of -rays can induce cell damage, which can lead to a brain tumor. Ionizing radiation may raise the risk of brain malignancies such as meningioma and glioma in people who have been exposed to it. More information about different types of brain tumors can be found here.
2. Additional Exposure
Industrial chemicals or solvents have been linked to an increased risk of getting a brain tumor. There is an increased risk for people who work in the oil refining, rubber manufacturing, and medication manufacturing industries, despite the lack of clear proof.
3. Family history:
This is a rare occurrence, with only a few families having many members with brain tumors. Inherited disorders reported in the patient’s families include Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Neurofibromatosis (NF1 and NF2).
- Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1)
This condition, also known as von Recklinghausen disease, is most usually associated with brain and spinal tumors. Schwannomas, meningiomas, some forms of gliomas, and neurofibromas were all more common in those who were impacted (which are benign tumors of peripheral nerves). This condition is caused by mutations in the NF gene. Inherited cases account for half of the cases reported.
- Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2)
This syndrome is associated with vestibular schwannomas (acoustic neuromas), which almost invariably arise on both sides of the head and are less prevalent than NF1. It's linked to an increased risk of meningiomas and spinal ependymomas.
- Tuberous sclerosis
TSC1 or TSC2 genes are responsible for this disease. SEGAs (subependymal giant cell astrocytomas) are low-grade astrocytomas that form beneath the ependymal cells of the ventricles in people who are affected. They could also develop benign tumors in the brain, skin, heart, kidneys, and other organs.
- Von Hippel-Lindau disease
Hemangioblastomas (benign blood vessel tumors in the brain, spinal cord, retina, inner ear, kidney, adrenal gland, and pancreas) are among the benign or malignant tumors that patients with this illness develop. This disorder is caused by mutations in the VHL gene, and it is mostly hereditary.
- Li-Fraumeni syndrome
Patients with this condition are more likely to develop gliomas, as well as breast cancer, soft-tissue sarcomas, leukemia, adrenal gland cancer, and other cancers. This disorder is caused by mutations in the TP53 gene.
- Other syndromes
- The following hereditary disorders have been associated with brain and spinal tumors:
– Gorlin's disease (basal cell nervous syndrome)
– Turcot syndrome
– Cowden syndrome
While there is no universal rule for whether men or women are more prone to acquire brain tumors, meningiomas are twice as likely to occur in women while medulloblastomas are more commonly observed in men.
In general, elderly adults have a higher incidence of brain tumors. The age factor varies depending on the cell type and location. Adults, for example, have a relatively low risk of acquiring medulloblastomas; gliomas, on the other hand, are the most prevalent cancer in adults. Adults above the age of 50 are more likely to develop meningiomas and craniopharyngiomas. These tumors are still documented to occur at any age.
People with a low immune system are more likely to acquire brain lymphomas. Treatments for various tumors, medication to prevent rejection of transplanted organs, and diseases like acquired immunodeficiency syndrome can all induce a compromised immune system (AIDS).