Causes of a benign brain tumour 

The cause of most benign brain tumours is unknown, although a small number of cases have been linked to certain genes or previous cancer treatment.

Who's most at risk?

Some of the things that can increase your risk of benign brain tumours are outlined below.


Brain tumours affect people of all ages, including children, but the risk tends to increase as you get older. Most tumours affect people over 50 years of age.

Family history

People with a family history of brain tumours may be at a slightly increased risk of developing a brain tumour themselves.


If your brain is exposed to radiation during radiotherapy, your risk of developing certain types of benign brain tumour later on is increased.

Genetic conditions

Some genetic conditions can increase your risk of a benign brain tumour, such as:

Unlike most benign brain tumours, tumours associated with these conditions tend to develop in childhood or early adulthood.

Can mobile phones cause brain tumours?

There have been reports in the media about a possible connection between brain tumours and the radiofrequency (RF) energy emitted by mobile phones. RF energy produces heat, which can increase body temperature and damage tissue exposed to it.

However, it's thought that the amount of RF energy people are exposed to from mobile phones is too low to produce significant tissue heating or an increase in body temperature.

Research is underway to establish whether RF energy has any long-term health effects, but the balance of evidence currently available suggests it's unlikely that mobile phones cause health problems.

Read about mobile phone safety for more information.

Page last reviewed: 18/03/2015

Next review due: 18/03/2017