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"Are brain tumors genetic?"


When I was young, I had a benign brain tumor. It was a horrible experience, but I had it removed and had a fully healthy adulthood. Now I'm 28 and I'm thinking about having children of my own, but I want to know if they'd be at risk. Are brain tumor risks inherited genetically?


The genetics of brain tumors for the most part are complex, with a few types being inherited in a specific pattern. Without know what type of benign brain tumor you had, it will not be possible for me to give you any type of statistical likelihood of your child developing a brain tumor. However, there are physicians who specialize in genetics of diseases and can give you a better indication of what your child's risks may be.

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Most types of brain tumors are not considered to be inherited. This is not to say that genetics don't play role in the development of these tumors, but we do not have a clear cut inheritance pattern which allow for calculating a risk to a new child. This type of information may be available in 30 years or so. I suggest you bring the issue up with your primary care physician, he or she may have a satisfactory answer for you, or may decide to refer you to a pregnancy councilor or medical genetics specialist. He or she will be able to better help you make some decisions. One recommendation I have is do not waste you money on any home genetics testing kits that are being sold. They will not be able to give you accurate information for your question.

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