Having an impaired immune system can increase your risk of developing CNS lymphoma. Conditions such as immunosuppression of the system after a transplant to reduce organ rejection or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been linked to higher rates of CNS Lymphoma.
Symptoms of central nervous system lymphoma depend, in part, on where the cancer is located. If the lymphoma is within the brain or meninges, symptoms can include
Other issues that may present with time:
If the cancerous lymphatic cells block the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, the pressure inside the cranium can increase causing more critical symptoms such as sleepiness and a lack of responsiveness, in addition to vomiting and headaches.
Compression on the spinal cord from a tumor can bring about other symptoms:
Intraocular lymphoma, lymphoma that has spread to the eyes, may present symptoms of blurred vision and floaters—shadows and spots that float in the field of vision.
Physicians have a number of tools to help make an accurate diagnosis:
Steroids are given to reduce inflammation of the tissues around the lymphoma, especially if there is heightened intracranial pressure due to slowed or arrested cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Generally if primary CNS lymphoma is suspected, steroids won’t be introduced until after a stereotactic brain biopsy.
A ventriculoperitoneal shunt may also be recommended to help relieve intracraneal pressure from CSF accumulation.
Chemotherapy is the dominant treatment for CNS lymphoma. Intrathecal chemotherapy injects the medication directly into the space in the spinal cord. An Ommaya reservoir may be recommended to avoid needing numerous lumbar punctures to deliver intrathecal chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy such as gamma knife radiosurgery may be especially advantageous for those with recurrent CNS lymphoma.
Stem cell transplants are a new strategy being tested in clinical trials. Neurological Surgery, P.C. (NSPC) participates in the latest and most state-of-the-art treatment options to give you the best choice in care options.
The CNS lymphoma specialists at NSPC’s Long Island Brain Tumor Center offer expert consultations and treatment. The New York area offices mean you get top-notch care from leading physicians, close to home.
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