Are brain tumors hereditary?
Some illnesses, such as breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and the risk for heart disease can be hereditary. But are brain tumors also hereditary?
Thes days, scientists and researchers are constantly making new discoveries about genetics and how they relate to various diseases. Some cases of breast cancer and prostate cancer have been found to be hereditary, and the same goes for diabetes, as well as the risk of heart disease and hypertension. Would these examples also mean that brain tumors and brain cancer can be hereditary?
According to Shaan M. Raza, M.D., an assistant professor of neurosurgery and head and neck surgery at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, brain tumors can be hereditary, but a majority of it is not.
This means that if you have a relative that has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, there's very little chance of you or your children being diagnosed with the disease. The only time that you should seek testing from a genetic counselor would be if 2 or more members of your family have had brain tumors. Other than that, you shouldn't be too worried about brain tumors or cancer.
Regarding the symptoms of brain tumors, they can vary depending on where the tumor is located, so a headache isn't always a sign of a brain tumor. More obvious symptoms would be sudden changes in attitude or mood, speech issues, memory issues, difficulty understanding language etc.
A headache that gets progressively stronger, headaches that wake you up in the middle of the night, or headaches that are exacerbated by coughing or straining aren't always signs of a brain tumor, but you should visit a doctor if you have any of those symptoms, since they can be caused by various illnesses.
For the most part, there are no known risk factors for tumors, which means that there's no known way to protect yourself from or prevent brain tumors. However, having an active lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding vices such as smoking and drinking all contribute to your overall health.
At the end of the day, the most important thing is to have a healthy mind, and a healthy body.