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What causes primary central nervous system lymphoma?

Asma Taha
Child Neurology

Lymphoma is a malignant “cancer” that affects the lymphatic system which is made up of the lymph, lymph nodes and lymph vessels. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system.

Lymphocytes are cells that travel into the central nervous system (CNS). If these cells become malignant, they cause primary CNS lymphoma. These cells can affect any part of the CNS (brain, spinal cord, or the layers that cover the brain and spinal cord which is called meninges).

Treatment of CNS lymphoma depends on the stage of the cancer, location and the patient’s general health condition.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma is an illness in which a cancerous tumor is formed in the brain, spinal cord, or eye by the infection-fighting cells of the body. Exactly how this occurs is not known, though there appears to be a connection between this disease and abnormalities of the immune system (the organs and cells that defend the body against infection and other insults). Primary central nervous system lymphoma is also associated with a history of infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, the mononucleosis virus.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.