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Primary lymphoma of the brain
Alternative namesBrain lymphoma; Cerebral lymphoma; Primary lymphoma of the central nervous system; Lymphoma - brain
DefinitionA malignancy (cancer) of the brain without evidence that it has spread from somewhere else in the body.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of primary brain lymphoma is unknown, but it is more common in people between the ages of 45 and 70 years old and in people with weakened immune systems. As a result, it is a neoplasm that occurs in AIDS patients. Personality changes, seizures , or neurological changes are often the initial symptoms.
The incidence is rising, but primary brain lymphoma is still relatively rare. It occurs in 30 people per million.
Signs and testsTests that indicate primary lymphoma of the brain include:
TreatmentInitial treatment is with corticosteroids. However, to increase the chance of survival, these tumors need to be treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy . The chemotherapy is usually given both intravenously and intrathecally (via the spinal cord).
The survival of untreated primary brain lymphoma is under 2 months. However, with radiation and chemotherpay the median survival increases to 44 months. About 40% of patients are alive at 5 years. Older patients have a worse prognosis.
ComplicationsPossible complications include:
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if unexplained personality, mental status changes or other symptoms suggestive of primary brain lymphoma occur, or if new symptoms develop in a person diagnosed with this disorder.
Update Date: 11/7/2002Ezra E. W. Cohen, M.D., Department of Medicine, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT