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?
The various tests involved for diagnosing the cancer are:
• Bone marrow biopsy
• Chest x-ray
• CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis
• Complete blood count (CBC)
• Examination of the spinal fluid
• Lymph node biopsy
• PET scan
HOW IS BURKITT LYMPHOMA TREATED?
Chemotherapy is used to treat this type of cancer. If the cancer does not respond to chemotherapy alone, a bone marrow transplant may be done. Surgery or radiation therapy has no role in the treatment of Burkitt lymphoma. Antibiotics and other medications may be prescribed for fever and infections.
DID YOU KNOW?
In some cases surgical removal of the affected parts of intestines may be required.