A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s possibility of mounting a brain tumor. Though risk factors often manipulate the growth of a brain tumor, most do not in a straight line cause a brain tumor. Some people with quite a few risk factors never develop a brain tumor, while others with no identified risk factors do. Most of the time, the reason of a brain tumor is unidentified, but the subsequent factors may raise a person’s risk of developing a brain tumor:


Brain tumors are more common in children and older adults, although people of any age can develop a brain tumor.


In general, men are more likely than women to develop a brain tumor. However, some specific types of brain tumors, such as meningioma, are more common in women.

Home/occupational exposures.

Occupational exposures to solvents, pesticides, oil products, rubber, or vinyl chloride may increase the risk of developing a brain tumor, although there is not yet scientific evidence that supports this possible link.

Family history.

About 5% of brain tumors may be linked to hereditary factors. Scientists have also found “clusters” of brain tumors within some families without a link to these known hereditary conditions, and studies are underway to try to find a cause.

Electromagnetic fields.

Electromagnetic fields, such as energy from power lines or from cell phone use, may or may not increase the risk of developing a brain tumor, as current research has shown conflicting results. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends limiting cell phone use and promotes the use of a handsfree headset for both adults and children.

Race and


In the United States, white people are more likely to develop gliomas but less likely to develop meningiomas than black people. Also, people from northern Europe are more than twice as likely to develop a brain tumor as people in Japan.

Ionizing radiation.

Previous treatment to the brain or head with ionizing radiation (including xrays) has shown, in some cases, to be a risk factor for a brain tumor.

Head injury and seizures.

Serious head trauma has long been studied for its relationship to brain tumors. Some studies have shown a link between head trauma and meningioma, but not one between head trauma and glioma.

Exposure to nerve agents.

One study has shown that some Gulf War veterans are at increased risk of a brain tumor due to exposure to nerve agents; however, more research is needed before a definitive link can be established.

Symptoms And Signs Of Brain Cancers