As of 2015, the primary cause of brain tumors is unknown, but risk factors include radiation treatments and genetic diseases, such as neurofibromatosis and Turcot syndrome, states Healthline. It is rare for brain tumors to occur frequently in a family.
Brain tumors are abnormal collections of cells in the brain, which destroy brain cells and increase the pressure and inflammation in the brain, notes Healthline. Unlike normal cells that die with time, tumor cells do not die but continue to grow, adding to the mass.
The source of a primary brain tumor is the brain itself or tissues such as cranial nerves, the pituitary gland or brain membranes, reports Mayo Clinic. This condition occurs when normal cells develop mutations in their DNA, growing and dividing rapidly and forming a collection of abnormal cells. The risk of brain tumors increases with age, a family history of brain tumors and exposure to radiation.
Symptoms depend on the amount of swelling, location and size of the tumor. They include lack of coordination, changes in mood, memory loss and headaches that occur while sleeping. Patients with these symptoms should tell their doctors so they can receive proper diagnosis, since other health conditions other than a brain tumor can cause these symptoms, advises MedicineNet.