Brain Tumor: Lymphoma (Cerebral Lymphoma)

Lymphoma In The Brain

As degenerate cells of the immune system  in brain are called lymphoma. Specifically, it is in the lymphocytes, which belong to the white blood cells. These form a tumor.

A lymphoma in the brain occurs either within the brain ( primary ) or external ( secondary ) from degenerated lymphocytes. These lymphoid cells belong to the  white blood cells (leukocytes) and are actually part of the body’s defense. As a rule, lymphoma in the brain include in the group of malignant  non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas . Cerebral lymphomas are distinguishes in two forms Depending on whether it occur within or outside the brain:

  • Primary Cerebral Lymphoma
  • Secondary Cerebral Lymphoma

Secondary Cerebral Lymphoma

Normally, lymphomas settle within the lymphoid organs. These include lymph nodes, liver, spleen and the mucous membranes of the stomach and intestines. However, the lymphoma may be up spread from these organs to the brain and thus become a so-called secondary brain lymphoma.The main symptom of these lymphomas is usually a painless swelling of lymph nodes .

Primary Cerebral Lymphoma

However, it is also possible that a lymphoma itself arises in the brain. Such lymphoma is primary brain lymphoma. This lymphoma in the brain has its origin in degenerated lymphatic cells.

Frequency of Lymphoma in Brain

A primary lymphoma in the brain (cerebral lymphoma) is generally very rare, but a primary brain lymphoma is most commonly developed at the age of 50 to 70 years, where even people with healthy immune system can be affected. However, cerebral lymphomas occur more frequently in people with a weakened immune system (eg before or after an organ transplant , or as part of AIDS ). Overall, primary lymphoma in the brain make about 2 to 3 percent of all primary brain tumors .

Mostly a primary lymphoma in the brain is a malignant tumor include in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). Compared to other cancers, this is quite rare. It concerns only an even smaller proportion of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma of the central nervous system (CNS), ie the brain and spinal cord . A sole lymphoma in the brain is extremely rare: Such lymphomas in the brain make up about 2 percent of all non-Hodgkin’s lymphomas, and 2 to 3 percent of brain tumors.

Causes of lymphomas in Brain

Causes of lymphoma in the brain (cerebral lymphoma) is not yet known. There are only guesses about the reasons why the white blood cells degenerate and from or develop lymphomas in the brain.

In the development of lymphomas in the brain, especially disorders of the body’s defenses seem to play an important role in development. In a healthy immune system , especially in younger people risk to develop a primary brain lymphoma is very low. Persons with an impaired or weakened immune system (eg following a organ transplant , an HIV-infection or a congenital disorder of the immune system), however, have a higher risk to develop lymphoma in the brain. About one percent of people with AIDS developed a primary cerebral lymphoma. The shorter the underlying disease is, the lower the probability of getting a lymphoma in the brain.

Symptoms of lymphomas in Brain

Different symptoms can occur in case of a cerebral lymphoma. Like other brain tumors, the symptoms related to a cerebral lymphoma, depend on the location and size of tumor in the brain.

Early symptoms of lymphoma in the brain are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomit

For more information please click on here: Symptoms of lymphoma in the brain

Diagnosis of lymphomas in brain

Modern imaging methods are used for diagnosis of lymphoma in the brain (cerebral lymphoma).By using cranial computed tomography (CCT) and the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the affected regions are clearly visible through the enriched contrast agent there.

For more information please click on here: Diagnosis of lymphomas in brain

Treatments of lymphomas in brain

Treatment of lymphomas in brain is determined by type of tumor. In case of isolated lymphoma combination of radiotherapy and chemotherapy is used.

For more information please click on here: Treatments of lymphomas in brain 


You cannot safely prevent a lymphoma in the brain (cerebral lymphoma),  because the exact cause of the degeneration of the  white blood cells is yet unknown.

People with compromised immune systems (eg, after an  organ transplant , or as part of AIDS ) are at higher risk of developing primary lymphoma in the brain. Therefore, a healthy immune system may indirectly have a preventive effect. You can support your defenses through a healthy lifestyle and so you have a chance to reduce your overall risk of disease. Eat a varied, low-fat diet , avoid  nicotine and excessive  alcohol consumption and exercise regularly. Prior to infection with the HIV virus ( HIV ), you need to use condoms to protect yourself.