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B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia/Lymphoma (B-ALL)

What is it?

B-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia/Lymphoma (B-ALL) is a type of aggressive lymphoma that occurs mainly in children and adolescents, with two-thirds being male. A second peak of occurrence happens later in life in people over 40 years of age.

Lymphoblastic cancers are classified as either lymphoblastic leukaemia’s or lymphoblastic lymphomas. Both are cancers of immature lymphocytes.

Common symptoms include pallor (paleness of skin), fatigue, bleeding, fever and recurrent infections. At the time of diagnosis other sites outside of the lymph nodes may also be affected and may cause symptoms such as swollen lymph nodes, enlarged liver or spleen, neurological disturbances, enlargement of testicles in men or skin involvement. The diagnosis is usually made by bone marrow biopsy as this typically shows high numbers of the cancerous B-cell lymphoblast’s

How is it treated?

The treatment involves combination chemotherapy medicines and a monoclonal antibody, and stem cell transplants when required.