Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop a brain tumor. The following risk factors are associated with an increased chance of developing a primary brain tumor:
Sex: In general, brain tumors are more common in males than females. However, meningiomas are more common in females.
Race: Brain tumors occur more often among white people than among people of other races.
Age: Most types of brain tumors are detected in people who are 70 years old or older. However, brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. Brain tumors are more common in children younger than 8 years old than in older children.
Family history: People with family members who have gliomas may be more likely to develop this disease.
Exposure and Occupational history: Being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals at work:
Radiation: Workers in the nuclear industry have an increased risk of developing a brain tumor.
Formaldehyde: Pathologists and embalmers who work with formaldehyde have an increased risk of developing brain cancer.
Vinyl chloride: Workers who make plastics may be exposed to chlorinated hydrocarbons like vinyl chloride and benzene. This chemical may increase the risk of brain tumors.
Acrylonitrile: People who make textiles and plastics may be exposed to acrylonitrile. This exposure may increase the risk of brain cancer.