Diseases

Brain tumor: the causes

The causes of the appearance of brain tumors are not yet well known because of their complexity, but a number of contributing factors have been identified.

1 - Factors related to the environment

> Chemical substances

Exposure to lead and pesticides is most likely to increase the risk of developing a brain tumor, particularly glioma and meningioma. Several studies have shown an excess of brain tumors in populations exposed to these substances.
This risk increase can reach 30% for farmers, who are regularly exposed to pesticides. However, no family of pesticides has yet been implicated in the frequent occurrence of these brain tumors.

> Electromagnetic radiation

Exposure to ionizing radiation, such as brain radiotherapy (head), increases the risk of developing a brain tumor.
The role favoring electromagnetic fields, such as microwaves and mobile phones, is still discussed, but remains likely.

In June 2011, WHO ruled on the influence of the mobile phone, which it described as "possibly carcinogenic". Without certainty, precautionary measures can minimize this risk: the use of the headset when phoning, and the disconnection of wi-fi at night.

To read: These 11 health problems that our smartphone can cause

> The viruses

The influence of certain viruses in the appearance of brain tumors is studied, but so far, only the AIDS virus, HIV, is identified as a risk factor for cerebral lymphoma.

2 - Internal factors

> Ethnic group

Brain tumors are more common in whites than in blacks.

> Genetic predisposition

Some rare family diseases, such as neurofibromatosis, pose a high risk of developing a brain tumor. Apart from these very rare situations, no heredity has yet been highlighted.

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