Like all known cancers, the causes of brain cancer too are still something of a mystery to us. The occurrence of brain cancers and tumors appear to be so random and unpredictable that a pattern or reason seems hard to fathom.
Before looking at the causes of brain cancer and their risk factors, let’s look at the way in which tumors of the brain actually form.
Any uncontrolled and abnormal cell division in the cells of the brain can cause a tumor. This type of cell division could occur in the brain itself or it could happen in the lymphatic system, the nerves of the cranium, the blood vessels, the skull, pituitary or pineal glands, the meninges and so on.
Though the term brain tumor can strike a chill in any heart it is important to remember that all tumors are not cancerous; neither are they all potentially fatal.
In fact a lot of brain tumors could actually be benign and the reason that even these could be potentially life threatening is due to the fact of limited space inside the skull. Any kind of abnormal growth will put pressure on the brain tissue causing problems.
Causes of brain cancer
Metastasis from other cancer in the body: This is a secondary type of brain cancer, where the cancer doesn’t originate in the brain but occurs as a result of cancers elsewhere in the body. It is through the blood stream or the lymphatic system that the cancer cells from other areas such as a breast cancer site, or a lung or kidney cancer site travel to the brain and result in a cancer there.
Radiation and Vinyl Chloride: Exposure to ionizing radiation is a known causative factor for a number of cancers including brain cancer. X rays and exposure to any kind of nuclear radiation are possible causes. Vinyl chloride is an industrial compound that is a known carcinogen and a toxin and could be one of the causes of brain cancer.
Genetic causes: The body has certain tumor suppressor genes, however when these genes are either suppressed or mutated due to any reason, this could result in tumors including some forms of brain cancers. Certain inherited diseases also put a person at greater risk of brain tumors: conditions such as neurofibromatosis (type 2), Von Hippel-Lindau Syndrome and multiple endocrine neoplasia are seen to increase risk of brain tumors.
Compromised immunity: A compromised immune system as in the case of people with AIDS is also one of the causes of brain cancer. People with AIDS are known to be at greater risk of developing certain cancers.
How is cell phone usage connected to brain cancer?
Cell phone use is sometimes implicated as being one of the causes of brain cancer; however all of the various studies and research on the subject have remained inconclusive. In any case if one wants to be sure that no adverse effect from cell phones occurs, one can reduce use of cell phones and use land lines instead. Also when using a cell phone, use a hands free set to limit exposure to possible cancer causing activity.