Burkitt's lymphoma

Burkitt's lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that usually affects people between the ages of 12 and 30. This cancer, particularly African Burkitt lymphoma, is associated with early childhood infection by the Epstein-Barr virus, which is the primary cause of infectious mononucleosis.

Burkitt's lymphoma may first become noticeable with swelling in lymph nodes in the neck or below the jaw. This painless swelling may grow rapidly and may appear in other areas of the body. People with Burkitt's lymphoma may develop fast-growing tumors in the abdomen. Burkitt's lymphoma may spread to the bone marrow and central nervous system.

Burkitt's lymphoma often is cured by treatment with anticancer medications (chemotherapy).

Last Updated: September 8, 2009

Author: Maria Essig

Medical Review: Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease

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