Causes and prevention of brain cancer

What causes brain tumours?

The exact cause of brain tumours is unknown. But there are things called risk factors that can increase your chance of getting the disease. These include:

  • Age: The risk of getting a brain tumour increases with age. But certain types of brain tumours are common in young adults and children.
  • Genetic conditions: Brain tumours are usually not inherited. But there are certain genetic conditions that have been linked to brain tumours. These include neurofibromatosis type 1 and type 2, tuberous sclerosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Turcot syndrome and Gorlin syndrome.
  • Previous radiation: If you have been exposed to radiation in the past, for example, radiotherapy, you may have a slightly higher risk of developing a brain tumour.

Research is ongoing into other possible causes of brain tumours. This includes viruses, power lines and mobile phones. At present, there is no scientific evidence to prove there is a link between these and brain tumours.

Call our National Cancer Helpline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm