Primary lymphoma of the brain is cancer of white blood cells that starts in the brain.
Brain lymphoma; Cerebral lymphoma; Primary lymphoma of the central nervous system; Lymphoma – brain
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The cause of primary brain lymphoma is not known.
Patients who have a weakened immune system are at high risk of primary lymphoma of the brain. Common causes of a weakened immune system include
Primary lymphoma of the brain may be linked to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV). This is the virus that causes
Primary brain lymphoma is more common in people ages 45 to 70. The rate of primary brain lymphoma is rising. But this cancer is still very rare.
- Changes in speech
- Changes in vision
- Leaning to one side when walking
- Loss of coordination
Numbnessto hot, cold, and pain
- Personality changes
- Weakness in hands
- Weight loss
Signs and tests
The following tests may be done to help diagnose a primary lymphoma of the brain:
Biopsyof the brain Head CT scanor MRI Spinal tap(lumbar puncture)
Primary lymphoma of the brain is usually first treated with corticosteroids to control swelling and improve symptoms. The main treatment is with
Younger patients may receive high-dose chemotherapy, followed by an
Boosting the immune system, such as in those with HIV, may also be tried.
Without treatment, patients with primary brain lymphoma survive for less than 2 months. Patients who are treated with chemotherapy often survive 3 to 4 years or more, depending on whether the tumor stays in remission. Survival may improve with autologous stem cell transplant.
Possible complications include:
- Chemotherapy side effects, including low blood counts
- Radiation side effects, including confusion, headaches, nervous system (neurologic) problems, and tissue death
- Return (recurrence) of the lymphoma