Ricker Polsdorfer, MD
There may be little you can do to avoid primary
brain tumors. Risk factors, like genetics and family history, cannot be changed. Other risk factors, such as radiation therapy for cancer treatment or imaging tests may not be avoidable. Talk about the risks and benefits of these types of radiation exposures with your doctor.
Certain occupations can increase your risk of a brain tumor. If possible, try to find work in a different environment. If it is unavoidable, take steps to protect yourself from exposure. Check with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or the Environmental Protection Agency about any available protective guidelines.
Secondary brain tumors come from other cancer sites in the body. Treatment can reduce the risk of a cancer spreading to the brain. Secondary brain tumors come most often from the following cancers:
About brain tumors: A primer for patients and caregivers. American Brain Tumor Association website. Available at:
http://www.abta.org/secure/about-brain-tumors-a-primer.pdf. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated July 17, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Brain and spinal cord tumors in adults. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003088-pdf.pdf. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:
http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated March 30, 2015. Accessed August 17, 2015.
Last reviewed May 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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