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Burkitt’s Lymphoma

Burkitt’s lymphoma (BL) is a very aggressive form of NHL and commonly affects both children and adults, with males being affected more frequently than females. The disease may be associated with viral infection such as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the Epstein-Barr virus more commonly known as glandular fever.

Burkitt’s lymphoma accounts for 30% to 40% of all childhood lymphomas and occurs in children between the ages of 5 and 10 years and in adults between the ages of 30 and 50 years.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms are swollen lymph nodes and abdominal swelling. Burkitt’s lymphoma may also affect other organs such as the eyes, ovaries, kidneys, central nervous system and glandular tissue such as breast, thyroid or tonsil. Disease in these organs may cause variable symptoms.

The diagnosis of Burkitt’s lymphoma is confirmed by a lymph node biopsy. Other tests including X-rays, bone marrow biopsy, CT scans and blood tests may also be performed.

How is it treated?

Although Burkitt’s lymphoma has a very aggressive course, survival rates with treatment are very high. The most common treatment for Burkitt’s lymphoma is intensive combination chemotherapy medicines with the addition of a monoclonal antibody therapy. Other treatments can include stem transplant.

For more detailed information please read or download our fact sheet - Burkitt Lymphoma