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