Burkitt Lymphoma, also known as malignant lymphoma or Burkitt tumor, is a cancer of the lymphatic system, particularly in the immune B-cells. It is considered as the fastest growing human tumor, and proves to be rapidly fatal if left untreated. The endemic variant starts as tumors in the jaw or facial bones. It also affects the gastrointestinal tract, breasts and ovaries. Other common symptoms are:
• Loss of weight and appetite
• Night sweats
• Unexplained fever
HOW IS BURKITT LYMPHOMA DIAGNOSED?
A specialist from the Haematology department or a general physician can diagnose the condition with the help of a chest X ray or a CT scan of the chest, spinal fluid testing, blood tests to study the functioning of the kidney and liver, as well as a Gallium Scan. Also, a bone marrow biopsy may be used for diagnosis.
HOW IS BURKITT LYMPHOMA TREATED?
Intensive intravenous chemotherapy is the most effective treatment method for Burkitt lymphoma. In order to prevent spreading of the disease, chemotherapy may be directly injected into cerebrospinal fluid. Radiation and steroid therapy are also used in combination with chemotherapy.
DID YOU KNOW?
In children, intensive chemotherapy usually helps to cure the condition.