STEP 1: Prevention and early detection

This step outlines recommendations for the prevention and early detection of high-grade glioma.

Evidence shows that not smoking, avoiding or limiting alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active, being sun smart and avoiding exposure to oncoviruses or carcinogens may help reduce cancer risk (Cancer Council Australia 2018).

The causes of high-grade glioma are not fully understood, and there is currently no clear prevention strategy. Ionising radiation is the only recognised cause of brain cancers; however, such cases are rare (Prabhakaran et al. 2019; Prasad and Haas-Kogan 2009).

The risk factors for developing high-grade glioma include:

  • age (over 40 years)
  • gender – 1.5 times more common in males
  • race – twice as common in people of Caucasian descent (Ostrom et al. 2013)
  • exposure to ionising radiation, vinyl chloride, pesticides, petroleum refining, synthetic rubber manufacturing (Alifieris & Trafalis 2015)
  • rare familial genetic syndromes such as:
    • neurofibromatosis type 1 and 2
    • Li-Fraumeni cancer syndrome
    • Turcot syndrome
    • multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1
    • Lynch syndrome
    • Gorlin syndrome
    • tuberous sclerosis complex
    • Cowden’s disease (Farrell & Plotkin 2007).

There is a common myth about mobile phone usage increasing risk of cancer, in particular glioma. However, current research indicates there are no established health effects from mobile phone usage (ARPANSA 2016).

Screening has not been proven to be beneficial in detecting high-grade glioma.