Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Brain Cancer Underlying Cause

The exact cause of primary brain cancer is unknown, but genetics may play a role.

Genes control the functions inside a cell. Special genes control how cells divide and grow. Cancer occurs when the damaged genes stimulate the cell to multiply out of control. The exact cause for this damage is unknown.


  • DNA
  • Genes on chromosomes
  • Cancer cells
  • Cancer cell division

Brain tumors cause damage by causing swelling, by placing pressure against parts of the brain, or by increasing pressure inside the skull.

Continue to Brain Cancer Types

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Brain Cancer References
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  2. Ichimura K, Ohgaki H, Kleihues P, Collins VP. Molecular pathogenesis of astrocytic tumours. J Neurooncol. 2004 Nov;70(2):137-60. [15674475]
  3. Kaal EC, Niel CG, Vecht CJ. Therapeutic management of brain metastasis. Lancet Neurol. 2005 May;4(5):289-98. [15847842]
  4. See SJ, Gilbert MR. Anaplastic astrocytoma: diagnosis, prognosis, and management. Semin Oncol. 2004 Oct;31(5):618-34. [15497115]
  5. Tsao MN, Lloyd NS, Wong RK, Rakovitch E, Chow E, Laperriere N; Supportive Care Guidelines Group of Cancer Care Ontario's Program in Evidence-based Care. Radiotherapeutic management of brain metastases: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Treat Rev. 2005 Jun;31(4):256-73. [15951117]
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