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Do you have to have HIV to get lymphoma of the brain?
Jan 12, 2002

Do you have to have HIV to get lymphoma of the brain [also known as primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL)]? or can you get it without having HIV?

Response from Dr. Dezube

HIV infections makes patients more susceptible to cancers- these cancers include not just primary central nervous system lymphoma (PCNSL, brain lymphoma), but also systemic lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease, Kaposi's sarcoma, and many others. ALL these cancers can occur and indeed do occur in patients who are HIV negative. In HIV negative patients, PCNSL is unusual, but not rare, in young patients. IN HIV negative patients, PCNSL is usually seen in older patients. Please note that you can not hear about a particular cancer in a patient, and necessarily assume that (s)he has either HIV disease or AIDS.


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