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What are the symptoms of Burkitt lymphoma?

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Quick Answer

The symptoms of Burkitt lymphoma include fatigue, night sweats, weight loss and unexplained fever, according to WebMD. Other symptoms vary depending on the type of Burkitt's lymphoma.

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The World Health Organization recognizes three different types of Burkitt lymphoma, WebMD reports. Endemic Burkitt lymphoma occurs primarily in Africa and affects mostly boys from the ages of 4 to 7. Symptoms often begin with jaw or facial tumors. It can also affect breasts, ovaries and the gastrointestinal system. In some cases endemic Burkitt can affect the nervous system, causing nerve damage, paralysis and weakness.

The sporadic type occurs worldwide and accounts for 40 percent of childhood lymphoma cases in the United States, WebMD states. Sporadic Burkitt lymphoma makes up 1 to 2 percent of all adult lymphoma cases worldwide. Immunodeficiency-associated Burkitt lymphoma occurs primarily in AIDS patients. It can also occur in individuals with congenital conditions that compromise their immune systems and in organ transplant patients.

Sporadic and immunodeficiency-associated Burkitt lymphoma typically starts in the bowel, forming a mass in the abdomen, WebMD explains. The mass may involve the spleen, liver and bone marrow. Some cases may start in the ovaries or testes, spreading to the brain and spinal fluid. From 20 to 40 percent of patients may also have Epstein-Barr infection.

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