Astrocytoma - Childhood: Risk Factors

Approved by the Cancer.Net Editorial Board, 03/2014

ON THIS PAGE: You will find out more about the factors that increase the chance of developing astrocytoma. To see other pages, use the menu on the side of your screen.

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing a tumor. Although risk factors often influence the development of a tumor, most do not directly cause a tumor. Some people with several risk factors never develop a tumor, while others with no known risk factors do.

Doctors and researchers don’t know what causes most childhood tumors. There is some evidence that genetic factors may play a role in a small percentage of children with cerebral astrocytoma. For example, children who have neurofibromatosis may have an increased risk of developing astrocytoma. Neurofibromatosis is an inherited disorder that causes a type of noncancerous tumor called a neurofibroma to form on peripheral nerves in the body, brown spots on the skin, and tissue and bone deformities. Neurofibromatosis is also called Recklinghausen’s disease or von Recklinghausen’s disease. Learn more about neurofibromatosis type 1 and neurofibromatosis type 2. Other, less common genetic conditions associated with a higher risk of CNS tumors include Li-Fraumeni syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, and Turcot syndrome.

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