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Central Nervous System Lymphoma Signs and Symptoms

Primary central nervous system lymphoma is a unique type of lymphoma that appears mostly in patients whose immune systems are severely compromised or who have AIDS (Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).  Primary Central nervous system lymphoma accounts for twenty percent of all lymphomas found in AIDS patients. We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of primary central nervous system lymphoma below.

The Signs and Symptoms of Central Nervous System Lymphoma are as follows:

  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Fever
  • Night sweats
  • Weight loss
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of vision

The age of onset of signs and symptoms of primary central nervous system lymphoma in patients without AIDS is typically after age fifty.

Primary central nervous system lymphoma is fatal without treatment.  Treatment however only extends the survival and does not cure the disease.  The quality of life for primary central nervous system lymphoma is considered to be poor.  The median survival rate is ten to eighteen months in patients without AIDS, and 2.6 months in patients with AIDS.

Surgical treatment of primary central nervous system lymphoma is usually ineffective, as the lymphoma returns in ninety percent of patients due to the depth of the tumor.


Diagnosis of Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

A definitive diagnosis of primary central nervous system lymphoma is made through a tissue biopsy.  Imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan cannot differentiate between a primary central nervous system lymphoma and an unrelated condition called toxoplasmosis, which is also found in AIDS patients.  Hence the need for a tissue biopsy.


Books For People With Signs and Symptoms of Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma

Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma: Webster’s Timeline History, 1980 – 2007
Icon Group International
Cancer in the Nervous System
Victor A. Levin


Pathology of Tumors of the Central Nervous System: A Guide to Histologic Diagnosis
Roger E. McLendon
Primary Central Nervous System Tumors: Pathogenesis and Therapy (Current Clinical Oncology)
Andrew D. Norden


Central Nervous System Lymphoma

General Patient Resources

  • National Cancer Institute

Overview and treatment of primary CNS lymphoma.

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/primary-CNS-lymphoma/Patient/page1

  • WD

Central nervous system lymphoma, primary information including symptoms, diagnosis, misdiagnosis, treatment, causes, patient stories, videos, forums and more.

http://www.wrongdiagnosis.com/c/central_nervous_system_lymphoma_primary/intro.htm

  • Fighting Cancer Network

Articles and slideshows for PCNSL.

http://fightingcancernetwork.com/lymphoma/primary-central-nervous-system-lymphoma-367284a

  • Lymphoma Info . net

Parts of this page are an abridged version from CHAPTER 14:– Lymphomas; in Brain Tumors – Leaving the Garden of Eden: A Survival Guide to Learning the Basics, Getting Getting Organized & Finding Your Medical Team.

http://www.lymphomainfo.net/nhl/types/cns.html



Medical Resources

  • Web MD

In-depth information on primary CNS lymphoma from the Cancer Health Center.

http://www.webmd.com/cancer/tc/brain-cancer-primary-central-nervous-system-lymphoma-treatment-patient-information-nci-pdq-staging

  • Medscape Reference

Article on PCNSL written by medical professionals for medical professionals.

http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1157638-overview