Brain cancer occurs when cancereous cells start developing in the brain's tissues to form an abnormal cancer tissue or tumour. Brain cancer interrupts the normal body functions, muscle control and memory. No research has shown the exact causes of brain cancer, but individuals with certain risk factors are more likely to develop brain cancers than others. Oil refinery workers, chemists, jet fuel handlers, workers exposed to radiation and chemicals such as Benzene, Formaldehyde and Vinyl chloride have an elevated risk of brain cancer when compared with general population. Smoking, viral or HIV infection, cell phone usage are some other risk factors, but have not been proven to develop brain cancer.
Usually, men are more prone to brain cancer than women. People of European ethnicity are more likely to develop brain cancer than other ethnicities.
Brain cancer is usually detected in people over 70 years of age. People over 80 years of age have 1% of survival rate against brain cancer.
Workers employed in nuclear industry have an elevated chance of brain cancer. Microwaves and ovens are potential risk factors of brain cancer as they radiate heat.
Workers involved in plastic production are exposed to vinyl chloride, a chemical that increases the chances of occurrence of brain cancer.
People engaged in textile industry have potential risk of developing brain cancer as they are exposed to acrylonitrile.
Another dangerous chemical is formaldehyde to which pathologists and embalmers are exposed.
Few studies have identified genetic risk factors for brain cancer. Occurrence of brain cancer is related to familial cancer predisposition syndrome. These syndromes are Li-fraumeni syndrome, tuber sclerosis syndrome, turcot’s syndrome and neurofibromatosis syndrome. Researchers have observed that individuals with these syndromes are likely to develop brain tumours that can cluster within their families.
Nowadays, people are concerned with reports that cell phones have the potential to cause brain cancer. It is because cell phones emit radio waves (a form of non-ionizing radiation); the brain tissues (nearest tissues where cell phone is held) absorb this energy and get affected.
New studies have shown that smoking causes damage to the brain as the smokers inhale toxic chemicals such as carbon monoxide.
Virus such as HIV directly infects the functioning of our nervous system thus, interrupting the normal working of the brain.
It is not necessary that people suffering from brain cancer must have any of these risk factors. In fact, people with these risk factors do not necessarily have brain cancer. If you doubt that you possess any of these risk factors, consult doctor immediately. Never forget that prevention is better than cure.
Read more articles on Cancer.