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What Causes Brain Cancer: Key Insights

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

The malignancy in the brain is a complex and often devastating condition. It results from abnormal growth of cells within this organ or surrounding tissues. Understanding the causes of brain cancer is critical to both prevention and effective treatment.

Understanding the genesis of brain cancer is akin to deciphering a complex puzzle, the pieces of which are scattered throughout the expanse of medical knowledge. In the labyrinth of the brain, we are beckoned by the hidden whispers of genetic mutations and environmental triggers. Yet, in the search for answers to what causes brain cancer, uncertainty lingers like shadows in the night. It reminds us of the tangled nature of the human brain. 

Join us on a journey through the maze of neuroscience, where each discovery brings us closer to unraveling the secrets of what causes brain cancer. We will explore the relationship between genetic predisposition, environmental exposure, and other contributing factors.

What Causes Brain Cancer?

Causes Brain Cancer

Such an incurable illness remains a significant health challenge globally. It prompts researchers to unravel its complex origins. The causes of brain cancer are multifactorial. Genetic predisposition, environmental exposures, and lifestyle factors play pivotal roles. Understanding these underlying mechanisms is critical for developing effective prevention strategies. Also, it is vital for targeted treatments. Let’s explore the latest insights into the causes of brain cancer. We shed light on the complex interaction between various risk factors. Also, we explore the development of this devastating disease.

Environmental Exposures

Exposure to ionizing radiation has been generally linked to an increased risk of brain cancer. It is from radiation therapy or environmental sources. Occupational exposure to certain chemicals or toxins may also play a role.

Viral Infections

Some viruses have been usually associated with an elevated risk of growth of brain malignant neoplasms. The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) are among them. Such viruses are particularly in immunocompromised individuals.

Genetic Predisposition

Specific genetic mutations or inherited conditions can cause brain cancer. Among them are neurofibromatosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome.

Age and Gender

Brain cancer incidence tends to increase with age, with the highest rates observed in older adults. Some types of brain tumors exhibit gender disparities. It is, though, that the reasons for these differences are not fully understood.

Immune System Dysfunction

Dysregulation of the immune system happens due to underlying conditions or immunosuppressive therapies. It may contribute to the development or progression of brain malignant tumors.

Are Brain Tumors Genetic?

So, are brain tumors genetic? They can have such components, but not all neoplasms are purely genetic in origin. These factors are vital in developing certain types of brain malignant neoplasms. It is particularly in cases with a family history of the disease or when specific genetic syndromes are present. For example:

  • Hereditary Syndromes: Certain genetic syndromes are usually associated with causes of cancer. Among them are neurofibromatosis type 1 and type 2, Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Also, they include Turcot syndrome and von Hippel-Lindau disease,
  • Sporadic Mutations: Brain tumors often occur sporadically due to acquired mutations in genes. They regulate cell growth and division. These mutations may occur due to environmental factors, radiation, or other unknown causes.
  • Germline Mutations: Some people may inherit them, predisposing them to developing brain tumors later in life. These germline mutations can increase the risk of tumor formation but may not guarantee cancer development.

Genetic factors can cause brain cancer. They often interact with environmental factors and other risk factors. They can influence tumor formation. Not all individuals with genetic predispositions will develop brain tumors. They highlight the complex interaction between genetic predisposition and environmental influences.

Risk Factors for Brain Tumors

Risk Factors for Brain

Knowing the risk factors is essential for identifying individuals at higher risk. Also, it is pivotal for integrating preventive measures. The exact causes of developing brain malignant neoplasms remain largely unknown. Several factors have been generally identified as potential contributors to their development. They encompass a wide range of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle influences. Each plays a role in the initiation and progression of brain neoplasms. We can better inform public health strategies and targeted interventions. It is vital to understand the risk factors for brain tumors.


Brain tumors can occur at any age, but the risk tends to increase with age, with certain types more common in older adults.

Genetic Factors

Inherited genetic syndromes can elevate the risk of brain tumor development. Among them are neurofibromatosis type 1 and type 2, Li-Fraumeni syndrome. Also, they involve von Hippel-Lindau disease and Turcot syndrome.

Radiation Exposure 

Exposure to ionizing radiation, either from therapeutic radiation treatments or environmental sources. Among them are radiation accidents, which may increase the risk of developing brain tumors.

Family History

Individuals with a family history of brain tumors or certain genetic conditions may have an increased risk. Regular monitoring and genetic counseling are vital for individuals with dangerous familial factors.

Immune System Suppression

Conditions or treatments that weaken the immune system may elevate the risk of developing brain tumors. Among them are human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS). Also, the healing plan involves immunosuppressive therapy following organ transplantation.

Occupational or Environmental Exposures

Prolonged exposure to certain chemicals or toxins in the workplace or environment is dangerous. Among them are pesticides, solvents, or electromagnetic fields. They may be usually associated with increased risk factors for brain tumors.

Head Trauma

Severe head injuries, especially those leading to skull fractures or significant bleeding in the brain. They are generally associated with an increased risk of certain types of malignant tumors.

Gender and Hormonal Factors

Some types of brain malignant neoplasms may exhibit gender disparities. Hormonal factors can cause the growth of certain tumors, particularly pituitary adenomas. Among them is estrogen exposure.

Race and Ethnicity

The reasons are not entirely understood. Some studies suggest differences in brain cancer incidence among different racial groups.

Prevention and Early Detection

Preventing brain cancer involves mitigating risk factors and promoting healthy behaviors. The exact causes of brain cancer remain incompletely understood. Several strategies can help reduce the risk:

  • Avoiding Tobacco and Harmful Substances: Tobacco smoke contains carcinogens. They can increase the risk of various cancers. Avoiding tobacco products and limiting exposure to harmful substances may lower the risk. Among them are pesticides and industrial chemicals.
  • Limiting Exposure to Radiation: Minimize unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation. It is computer tomography (CT) scans and X-rays. Follow safety guidelines for radiation therapy when necessary.
  • Protecting Against Head Trauma: Take precautions to prevent head injuries. Wear helmets during sports and activities that pose a risk of head trauma. Also, practice safe driving habits to reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle: Try a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. They are essential. Also, maintaining a healthy weight and regular physical activity can support your overall health. Also, it potentially reduces the risk of cancer.
  • Regular Medical Check-ups: Attend regular medical check-ups and screenings to monitor overall health. Also, it helps to detect any potential health issues early. They include neurological symptoms that may indicate brain tumor development.

It is vital to know what causes brain cancer. Early detection is crucial for favorable treatment outcomes. Routine screening is not typically performed in asymptomatic individuals. Awareness of potential signs can prompt timely medical evaluation. Persistent headaches, seizures, and changes in vision or hearing are dangerous. Difficulty speaking or swallowing, as well as unexplained neurological changes, need further evaluation.


Understanding the causes of brain cancer is essential for prevention and early detection. Many factors contribute to its development. They include genetic predisposition, environmental exposures, and lifestyle choices. Ongoing research continues to uncover critical insights into its etiology. At Lone Star Neurology, we are generally dedicated to providing comprehensive neurological care. We use the latest diagnostics and personalized treatment approaches. They aim to address brain cancer and other neurological conditions. Our team is directly committed to improving patient outcomes and quality of life.


Can concussions cause brain tumors?

Concussions themselves do not directly cause brain tumors. Severe head injuries may increase the risk of certain types of cancer.

Are brain tumors hereditary?

Some brain tumors can have a hereditary component. It may be particularly in cases of genetic syndromes associated with tumor predisposition.

What are the leading causes of brain cancer?

The leading causes of brain cancer include genetic predisposition and environmental exposures. Also, they involve radiation and specific hereditary syndromes.

Can lifestyle changes reduce the risk of brain tumors?

A healthy lifestyle includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, and avoiding tobacco. It may help reduce the risk of developing brain tumors.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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