Rates of brain cancer tend to be higher in North America and western Europe than in Asia and South America. Studies of such lifestyle factors as tobacco, alcohol, and diet have yielded inconsistent results and an overall impression that little or no association exists. The only established exogenous cause of brain cancer is ionizing radiation, as demonstrated in populations exposed to high doses by the atomic bomb or medical treatment, accounting for only a small proportion of cases. However, studies of populations with lower exposures incurred through occupation or diagnostic x-rays provide mixed findings regarding an increased risk of brain cancer.
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