What is Burkett Lymphoma?This is a rare, fast-growing type of white blood cell cancer (leukemia) in which uncontrolled division of B cells in the blood and bone marrow occurs. It can develop in the lymph nodes and then can spread to the blood and bone marrow, or it can develop in the blood or bone marrow without affecting the lymph nodes. Common sites for malignant neoplasm (cancer) are the gastrointestinal tract (usually the junction of the small intestine and large intestine, that is, the ileocecal region), the head, and the neck. Other primary but less common foci of the disease are bones, liver, kidneys, breasts, male and female reproductive organs, pancreas, chest, and abdomen. Burkitt lymphoma or leukemia tends to metastasize (spread) to the bone and bone marrow.
Disease EtiologyThere is no well-known cause, however, a strong association between immunodeficiency, Epstein Bar virus infection, and malaria is observed in causing Burkitt lymphoma/Leukemia.
Disease EpidemiologyIt is most common in children with the peak age for the occurrence of the disease is 11 years. The development of Burkitt lymphoma/leukemia has a strong association with the Epstein bar virus infection (EBV). Among childhood cancers, It is a common childhood cancer in Europe, North America, and Africa. The incidence of the occurrence of a new case is 3-6 cases/100,000 children per year.
Signs and symptomsThe most common site for the development of Burkitt lymphoma is the abdomen. The patient may present with the following signs and symptoms. These are
- A palpable (felt able/ touchable ) mass in the abdomen
- Nausea (It is a sensation of discomfort with an urge to vomit)
- Persistent constipation
- Weight loss
- Melana (black-colored stool due to bleeding from the esophagus, stomach, or large intestine)
- Yellowish discoloration of the skin and sclera
- Bone pains
- Night sweats
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are
- Complete blood count (CBC)
- Serum urea and creatinine
- Lactate dehydrogenase
- Liver transaminases (ALT/AST)
- Serum bilirubin
- An antigen/antibody test for HIV
- EBV antibody test
- Bone marrow aspiration cytology or biopsy
- Lumbar puncture
- Diagnostic imaging techniques such as USG, X-Ray, CT-scan, and MRI to diagnose the site, size, and extent of the disease