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Brain Cancer Risk Factors

in NJ, CT, & MD

Brain cancer can be life-threatening, but early detection allows patients to receive effective treatment promptly and increases the likelihood of favorable outcomes. Early detection depends, in part, on patient awareness of the risk factors for brain cancer. At Regional Cancer Care Associates, our expert team of oncologists and hematologists treat many cancers and blood disorders – including brain cancer – providing comprehensive, cutting-edge, and compassionate care for patients in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area. Learn more about brain cancer risk factors from Regional Cancer Care Associates.

What Increases the Risk for Brain Cancer?

The cause of brain cancer is not clear in every case. However, physicians have identified several risk factors that increase the likelihood that a person will develop the disease, including:

Family History

If a person has blood relatives who have had a brain tumor, he or she may be more likely to develop brain cancer.

Radiation Exposure

As valuable as radiation therapy is for treating many cancers, individuals exposed to frequent radiation may be at increased risk for brain cancer. Patients who undergo radiation therapy for cancer must be mindful of brain cancer symptoms and seek medical evaluation promptly.

Other Cancers

Even without having received radiation therapy, simply having cancer in the past can increase the possibility of developing a brain tumor. When a patient has or previously had cancer in another part of the body, that cancer may spread to the brain. It’s important to monitor symptoms and be monitoring regularly to ensure cancer has not migrated to other parts of the body.


Some cancers may be more prevalent in one sex than the other. For example, men are at higher risk than women for developing  brain tumors overall, but women have a greater chance of developing certain specific , such as meningioma.


While brain tumors typically affect older adults, they also develop in children.


MRI Image Brain On Black Background

Signs and Symptoms

The signs of a brain tumor differ depending on the location and size of the cancer. Larger, more severe tumors or tumors in certain areas of the brain affect different parts of the body. However, people with smaller tumors may be asymptomatic – particularly in the early stages of the tumor’s development. People with brain tumors may experience the following symptoms:

  • Hearing issues
  • Unusual and severe headaches
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Changes in behavior or personality
  • Problems with vision
  • Confusion
  • Inability to feel or move the arms and legs
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Balance issues
  • Problems with speech

It is important to note that these symptoms may reflect a wide variety of causes. However, all require medical evaluation.

Brain Tumor Grades

Physicians typically categorize brain tumors into four grades:

  • Grade I: Grade I tumors are usually smaller in size and do not pose a risk of spreading to other areas. These often are readily treated with surgery.
  • Grade II: These types of tumors also do not pose a risk of spreading to other parts of the body. However, Grade II tumors may come back even after treatment.
  • Grade III: This grade includes tumors that with the potential to grow and spread to other areas of the body.
  • Grade IV: This is the most severe grade of brain tumor. Grade IV tumors can spread quickly.

Brain Cancer Treatment

While survival rates for people with brain cancer depend on several factors, one trend remains consistent: The sooner a patient receives treatment, the better the results are likely to be. Treatment for brain cancer varies depending on the tumor size and location, as well as factors including the patient’s overall health. Smaller tumors and those located in areas of the brain that are easy to access usually are better suited to surgical intervention than other types of tumors. Brain cancer treatments include:

  • Surgery: In some cases, tumors can be removed completely or partially through surgery.
  • Radiosurgery: In this procedure, radiation is targeted at the brain tumor.
  • Radiation therapy: High-energy radiation X-ray or proton beams are directed at the tumor from either outside the body or, in the case of brachytherapy, from tiny radioactive seeds implanted in or immediately next to the tumor.
  • Chemotherapy: Drugs are used to destroy brain tumor cells.
  • Targeted therapy: In this form of treatment, medications kill or prevent the replication of cancer cells by acting on proteins or other molecules on the surface of the cells or inside the cells.
  • Immunotherapy: This treatment approach harnesses the body’s own immune system to identify and attack cancerous cells.

Early Detection and Treatment at Regional Cancer Care Associates

The experienced team at Regional Cancer Care Associates provides patients with comprehensive, cutting-edge, and compassionate treatment for a host of cancers and blood disorders, including brain tumors. To learn more about our patient-focused care in New Jersey, Connecticut, Maryland, and the Washington, D.C., area, contact us today.

Regional Cancer Care Associates — Offering advanced cancer care

Doctors at Regional Cancer Care Associates (RCCA) are specialists in brain cancer. These experts have proven their leadership as professors, clinicians and researchers and were trained at the world’s most distinguished medical institutions. RCCA offers high-quality, advanced treatment near your home. We work with you and your family to make sure your care is second to none.

You can set up an appointment by calling the RCCA location nearest you. Or, for more information, call (844) 346-7222.


Regional Cancer Care Associates is one of fewer than 200 medical practices in the country selected to participate in the Oncology Care Model (OCM); a recent Medicare initiative aimed at improving care coordination and access to and quality of care for Medicare beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy treatment.