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May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

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According to the American Association for Cancer Research, more than 23,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain cancer and other nervous system cancers every year. These cancers are a portion of the 85,000 brain tumors that will be diagnosed in 2021.

May is designated as Brain Cancer Awareness Month for people to learn about brain cancer and understand its effects, and to raise awareness of the spending and research into the disease and its detection and treatment.

The types of brain and spinal cord tumors include benign and malignant cancers with each formed by the abnormal growth of cells. Any tumor that presses against a portion of the brain can stop that portion of the brain from functioning properly.

Brain tumors can grow on the spinal cord and in the brain. Other tumors can start in other parts of the body and spread to the brain.

Tumors of both kinds can cause an array of symptoms that could include, in part, changes in hearing, speech and emotional state, such as aggressiveness, problems understanding or retrieving words, loss of balance, nausea or vomiting, personality changes, memory problems and sleep problems.

There is not much research that conclusively shows environmental risk factors for brain cancer, except exposure to ionizing radiation. Conclusive risk factors include familial history, but that correlation only stands at about five percent. Research shows that people who have had chickenpox or adult allergies are at lower risk for brain cancer.

A diet high in fruits and vegetables, while a mother is pregnant, and in early childhood can reduce the risk of brain cancer.

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