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Second time with Mono: what are risks & causes?

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When I saw my own doctor the other day and he diagnosed me with mono, he said that it was rare to get mono twice in my life, but it happens to some people and it's nothing to be concerned about. However, after researching online, I found that recurring cases of mono can often be related to autoimmune disorders and certain kinds of cancer. In light of all my previous health problems that started once I moved into college, I would like to know if I have reason to be concerned and if I should press for more blood work to be done. Also, what specifically could cause me to get mono for a second time in my life?

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replied April 26th, 2007
Mononucleosis Answer A2640
Infective mononucleosis (mono) is a contagious disease provoked by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). During mono, EBV attacks the B-lymphocytes. Tonsilitis is one of the manifestations of mononucleosis that is due to immunity depression, or a decrease in the efffectiveness of the immune system. An EBV infection is associated with developing of 2 types of cancers: naso-pharyngeal carcinoma and Burkit’s lymphoma. Cancer is vary rare complication in cases of mono. There must be some other factors not yet known yet that contribute to cancer development, or "cancerogenesis" . Re-infection with EBV might increase the risk for cancer-development but not necessarily because, as I said previously, the cancerogenesis of many cancers is still unknown. You can request blood tests to evaluate the type of mono you are experiencing: AST, ALT, heterophilic antibodies and specific anti-mono antibodies examinations.

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