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Primary lymphoma of the brain

  • Definition

    Primary lymphoma of the brain is cancer of the lymph cells that starts in the brain.


    Alternative Names

    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 unknown. It is more common in people ages 45 - 70.

    Patients who have a weakened immune system are at greater risk for primary lymphoma of the brain. Common causes of a weakened immune system include:

    • HIV
    • Organ transplants (especially heart transplants)

    Primary lymphoma of the brain is also linked to Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) infection, the virus that causes mononucleosis.

    The rate of primary brain lymphoma is rising, but it is still relatively rare.


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