Burkitt lymphoma (or "Burkitt's tumor", or "Malignant lymphoma, Burkitt's type") is a cancer of the lymphatic system (in particular, B lymphocytes). It is named after Denis Parsons Burkitt, a surgeon who first described the disease in 1956 while working in equatorial Africa
Burkitt lymphoma may first be noticed as a swelling of the lymph nodes (glands) in the neck, groin, below the jaw, or under the arm. These swollen lymph nodes are often painless, but can grow very rapidly. In the more common types seen in the United States, the cancer usually starts in the belly area (abdomen). The disease can also start in the ovaries, testes, brain, and spinal fluid. Symptoms include: * Nodes that grow together to form a lump * Non-tender nodes * Rapid growth of the lymph nodes * Unexplained swollen lymph nodes
This type of tumor was first discovered in children in certain parts of Africa, but it also occurs in the United States. The African type of Burkitt lymphoma is closely associated with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), the main cause of infectious mononucleosis. The North American form of Burkitt lymphoma is not linked to EBV. The majority of Burkitt lymphoma cases are seen in males.
Effect of the chemotherapy, as with all cancers, depends on the time of diagnosis. With faster growing cancers, such as this one, the cancer actually responds faster than with slower growing cancers. This rapid response to chemotherapy can be hazardous to patient as a phenomenon called "tumor lysis syndrome" could occur. Close monitoring of patient and adequate hydration is essential during the process. Chemotherapy * cyclophosphamide * doxorubicin * vincristine * methotrexate * cytarabine * ifosfamide * etoposide * rituximab Other treatments are immunotherapy, bone marrow transplants, surgery to remove the tumor, and radiotherapy