Burkitt Lymphoma

Posted September 14, 2022 by Anusha ‐ 2 min read

Burkitt lymphoma is a type of B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. It’s a rare type of cancer that often starts in people’s organs like their bellies or spleens. This condition typically affects children and, less frequently, younger adults. Burkitt lymphoma can be fatal.

Causes of Burkkit Lymphoma

  • No one knows exactly what causes Burkitt lymphoma.

  • Researchers investigating Burkitt lymphoma cells link the condition to changes in the MYC gene and other genes they’ve found in the cancer cells.

  • The MYC gene controls some aspects of cell growth.

  • Researchers are still investigating what causes the genetic changes.

  • In some cases, people in the United States who have Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) also have Burkitt lymphoma.

  • But not everyone who has that virus develops Burkitt lymphoma.

Symptoms of Burkkit Lymphoma

Some common symptoms of Burkitt lymphoma in children include:

  • Belly (abdominal) pain.

  • Nausea and vomiting.

  • Loss of appetite.

  • Weakness and fatigue.

  • Swollen lymph nodes.

Common symptoms in adults include:

  • Weakness and fatigue.

  • Fever.

  • Unintended weight loss.

  • Drenching night sweats.

Diagnosis of Burkkit Lymphoma

Computed tomography (CT) scans

Providers may do scans of your or your child’s chest, abdomen and pelvis for signs of cancer.

Positron emission tomography (PET) scans

This is another imaging test that helps providers check for tumors.

Cerebrospinal fluid cytology

Providers may obtain cerebrospinal fluids to check for cancer cells.

Lactic dehydrogenase (LDH) test

Providers measure the amount of LDH in your blood or your child’s blood. Increased LDH may be a sign of lymphoma.

Treatment of Burkkit Lymphoma

  • Providers typically move quickly to treat Burkitt lymphoma.

  • They use a combination of very powerful chemotherapy drugs to destroy cancerous tumors and keep cancer cells from multiplying and creating more tumors.

  • Powerful chemotherapy can cause equally powerful side effects.

  • That’s why your provider may recommend you or your child be treated in the hospital.

diseases disorders burkitt-lymphoma cancers

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