Brain Cancer Risk Factors
Most brain and spinal cord tumors happen for no known reason. However, researchers have identified a few risk factors that may put a person at greater risk for developing cancer of the brain or spinal cord. These include:
- Environmental factors such as radiation. Today, most radiation-induced brain tumors are caused by radiation to the head given for the treatment of other cancers. Other environmental factors such as exposure to vinyl chloride (an odorless gas used in the manufacturing of plastics), petroleum products, and certain other chemicals have been associated with increased risk in some studies.
- Immune System Disorders. People with impaired immune systems have an increased risk of developing lymphomas of the brain or spinal cord.