Childhood brain tumors are the most common form of pediatric solid tumors. Significant improvements over the decades in the treatment of brain tumors in children have improved outcomes but mortality and morbidity are still high. Pediatric brain tumors are clinically and biologically distinct from those that occur in adults. Our understanding of risk factors in childhood brain tumors remains limited to several exposures of the head and neck to ionizing radiation and well-described hereditary cancer predisposition syndromes. In this chapter, we review the descriptive and analytic epidemiology of childhood brain tumors, including a discussion of the roles of radiation exposure, established predisposing syndromes, and other suspected risk factors.
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