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Alternative namesB-cell lymphoma; High-grade B-cell lymphoma; Small non-cleaved cell lymphoma
DefinitionBurkitt lymphoma is a lymph gland tumor classified as a non-Hodgkin's type of lymphoma .
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
This type of tumor was first discovered in Africa, but it has now been found in the U.S. as well.
African Burkitt lymphoma is closely associated with the Epstein-Barr virus ( EBV ), the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis . The American form of Burkitt lymphoma is less closely associated with EBV. Both types of tumor are caused by defective immune cells called B lymphocytes.
Signs and tests
TreatmentTreatment of this cancer requires use of anti-cancer medicines ( chemotherapy ). Many medicines effectively treat Burkitt lymphoma, but most treatment plans include combinations of prednisone, cyclophosphamide, vincristine, cytarabine, doxorubicin, methotrexate, and related chemotherapy medicines.
Support GroupsThe stress of illness can often be helped by joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems.
Expectations (prognosis)Burkitt lymphoma is usually curable if treated aggressively with chemotherapy. If the cancer involves only a small area of lymph nodes, the cure rate is over 90%. If it has spread to the bone marrow or spinal fluid, the cure rate drops to about 75%.
Calling your health care providerCall your health care provider if you note any of the symptoms listed here, or if you have questions about Burkitt lymphoma.
Update Date: 8/3/2002Scott Howard, M.D., M.S., Memphis, TN. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT