What are the causes of central nervous system (CNS) tumors?

Researchers don't really know why primary brain and spinal cord tumors develop. The possible causes under investigation include viruses, defective genes, exposure to certain chemicals and other hazardous materials, and immune system disorders. Although smoking, alcohol consumption, and certain dietary habits are associated with some types of cancers, they have not been linked to primary CNS tumors.

In a small number of individuals, CNS tumors may result from specific genetic diseases, such as neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis, or exposure to radiation. Non-ionizing radiation (radio waves) from mobile phone use does not increase the risk of developing a brain tumor.

Brain and spinal cord tumors are not contagious or, at this time, preventable.

This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.