Risk factors are the lifestyle habits, personal history, and genetics that can increase the chance of developing a certain disease or other medical issue. The risk factors for brain lesions and brain tumors differ, and are outlined below.
Risk Factors for Brain Lesions
Brain lesions are damage to brain tissue that may occur as a result of injury, illness, or disease. There is no age restriction for brain lesions to occur; they can happen at any age.
Potential Causes of Brain Lesions Include:
Aneurism: A weakened, bulging area within an artery of the brain. Brain aneurisms may or may not cause symptoms. Rarely, brain aneurisms rupture, causing a stroke.
Cerebral Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM): A defect within the brain which causes an abnormal connection between the arteries and veins.
Encephalitis: A rare condition characterized by an inflammation of the brain. Usually caused by infections.
Family History: Certain genetically inherited conditions, or a family history of brain tumors or brain cancer.
Hydrocephalus: A condition in which an excessive amount of fluid accumulates within the brain, putting potentially damaging pressure on brain tissue.
Infections: HIV, streptococcus, rabies, round worms, toxoplasma, and many other viruses.
Multiple Sclerosis: A disease of the nervous system that ranges in severity from person to person. While the exact cause is still unclear, it is largely thought that the immune system attacks the tissues of the nervous system and brain.
Traumatic Brain Injury: Any severe trauma to the head, such as injuries sustained from car accidents or sports.
Exposure to ionizing radiation
Exposure to carcinogens
It is not always possible to identify when or why a brain lesion has occurred. Exposure to the exact cause may have happened months or years ago. A brain lesion can also be the result of a combination of causes.
Risk Factors for Brain Tumors
For most cancers, risk factors generally lead to damage to the genes, such as carcinogens and certain chemicals. The brain is well protected from many common risk factors.
At this time, it is not known what causes brain tumors except for exposure to ionizing radiation. There is currently no known way to protect against brain tumors.
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AnMed Health & Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology are charter members of Levine Cancer Institute's cancer care network. Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute aims to build "a cancer institute without walls," by increasing access to specialist consultations, research offerings, program offerings and services to member institutions throughout the Carolinas.