Brain & Spinal Cord Cancers

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Causes/Risk Factors

The cause of brain and spinal cord cancers is not always known. Possible causes of brain and spinal cord cancers include:

• Cancers that metastasize (spread) from other organs of the body. Of all cancers, lung, breast, and melanoma cancer have the highest rate of metastasis to the brain.

• Genetics – a history of someone in your family having a brain cancer. This is true for only a few people (less than 5 percent).

• Exposure to radiation as a child, which could include X-rays and radiation treatments for other cancers or illness.

• Immune system problems such as AIDS.