Brain Tumor Fact Sheet

Learn the risk factors and symptoms of brain tumors to stay safe.

On today's show, Maria Menounos came on to talk about her brain tumor diagnosis. While discussing how her life has changed since finding out about her brain tumor, John Boockvar, MD, Vice Chair of Neurosurgery and Director of the Brain Tumor Center at Lenox Hill Hospital weighed in and explained how something like this could happen to someone so young and healthy. To raise awareness and encourage prevention, he has provided us with the risk factors and symptoms of brain tumors that you should be aware of. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, make sure to speak to your physician and get tested before it's too late.

Brain Tumor Risk Factors

1. Your age. Your risk of a brain tumor increases as you age.


2. Exposure to radiation. People who have been exposed to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumors. Examples of ionizing radiation include radiation therapy used to treat cancer and radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs. Importantly, more common forms of radiation, such as electromagnetic fields from power lines and radiofrequency radiation from cell phones and microwave ovens, have not been proven to be linked to brain tumors.

3. A family history of brain tumors. A small portion of brain tumors occur in people with a family history of brain tumors or a family history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumors.

4. Hormonal therapy. This type of therapy can alter the behavior of a particular type of brain tumor called meningioma.

Brain Tumor Symptoms

1. A headache that is new or different and more severe than usual

2. Weakness or numbness in the face, arm, or leg

3. Speech difficulties

4. Vision or hearing problems

5. Seizure in someone without a seizure history

6. Lightheadedness or imbalance

7. Confusion or personality/behavior changes

8. Memory changes

9. New onset and/or severe fatigue

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