Causes & Risk Factors

Researchers aren’t clear about what causes brain cancer. Like all cancers, it could be caused by many things, including family history or from exposure to certain types of chemicals. However, researchers have found several factors that might affect a person’s risk of getting brain cancer:

  • Secondary cancers: This includes breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, and melanoma, all of which are most likely to spread to the brain.
  • Radiation exposure: People who have been exposed to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumor.
  • Family history: Brain tumors can occur in people with a family history of brain tumors or a family history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumors.
  • Chemical exposure: This includes chemicals like benzene.
  • Other considerations: Oil refinery workers, handlers of jet fuel, chemists, embalmers, and rubber-industry workers, show higher rates of brain cancer than the general population. Also, smoking and viral infections have been suggested but not proven to cause brain cancer.

When to See a Doctor

If you have any continual signs or symptoms of brain cancer, make an appointment with your doctor right away. Also, make an appointment if you contain any of the risk factors associated with the cancer.

Our Cancer Services

Depending on the type of cancer and how far it has spread, BASS Cancer Center and the BASS Medical Group offers a wide range of treatment options, including surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapies.   

Our state-of-the-art cancer center features a full-service medical oncology clinic, including infusion suite, multiple exam rooms, and a PET/CT scanner. We also provide the most technologically advanced radiation oncology treatment in California. Our cancer experts use an Elekta VersaHD CT-Guided linear accelerator with Visionrt’s AlignRT Surface Guided technology (SGRT) and an MR-Guided Linear Accelerator (ViewRay MRIdian).

The VersaHD and MRIdian augment each platform’s capabilities and give the patient and BASS physician an unprecedented ability to tailor a radiotherapy treatment course best fit for each person’s case. Our AlignRT SGRT platform utilizes innovative optical technology to accurately track a patient’s position before and during treatment without exposing them to any additional radiation (commonly needed by other radiotherapy platforms for maintaining setup). Additionally, SGRT allows some patients the choice to avoid permanent marks on their bodies.