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What causes burkitt's lymphoma?

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Pathologist and Microbiologist
Practicing since : 2003
Answered : 849 Questions
Hi May Dad served in Korea passed away 2011 Respiratory failure, Burkitt's Lymphoma & Hyperkalemia
Herbicides & Pesticides were tested on military bases hear in USA and used in Korea which is know to cause cancers Trying to link Burkitt's Lymphoma to exposures. I understand the Respiratory was from meds since he had stage 4 is Hyperkalemia related to B.L. Also why was this BL not detected during yearly blood work. What are your thoughts on Herb / Pesticides as a cause Was told by Dr Dad had BL for a long time
Posted Thu, 7 Aug 2014 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. Jyothi B L 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Pesticides do not cause.

Detailed Answer:
I am Dr. Jyothi BL and I will be answering your query.

Burkitt lymphoma is commonly caused secondary to Epstein Barr Virus infection and is associated with mutation (8:14 translocation)
Few cases have been reported in association with high malaria infection regions causing B cell proliferation and in later years Burkitt lymphoma.
Certain Burkitt lymphoma are associated with AIDS.
Other causes are still under study, but evidence for their importance is limited.

Burkitt lymphoma is a tumor arising in lymphnodes and can appear in peripheral blood at a very late stage (lymphoma leukemia). Routine blood work do not diagnose Burkitt lymphoma.
Enlarged multiple lymph nodes could be a clue for lymphoma.

Burkitt lymphoma is a type of NON-HODGKIN lymphoma.

Any further queries, happy to help again.

Dr. Jyothi BL
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes burkitt's lymphoma? 22 hours later
I believe we were told this BL attacks Bone Marrow which stops blood making Before death had 4 to 5 blood transfusions. What are you thoughts

Hospital looked for loss of blood a few times by endoscopy & colonoscopies
looks like they were looking in the wrong direction

What is Ferritin was 7 what is 35, MCV was 94
Trying to understand Dad's death thank you for helping me .
Answered by Dr. Jyothi B L 5 hours later
Brief Answer:
Burkitt lymphoma attacks bonemarrow in late stages

Detailed Answer:
I am here to help you. You are welcome.
Burkitt lymphoma affects the lymphnodes first and in later stages involves the bone marrow. When it involves the bone marrow, it multiplies and suppresses the normal elements to a greater quantity. This will give rise to a condition called as normocytic normochromic anemia.
This is the same type of anemia, you see when a patient is bleeding internally. At your fathers age, internal bleeding was very common. Maybe the lymphnodes were not enlarged enough externally to identify it.
I think the values given by you could be Hemoglobin - 7 (reduced hemoglobin levels), MCV - 94 (normocytic - normal size cell) and MCH - 35 (normochromic or normal quantity of hemoglobin in cell)
It presented with normocytic normochromic anemia and hemorrhage is the commonest cause, followed by cancers of gastro intestinal tract or elsewhere.
Lymphomas are not commonly suspected, unless group of lymphnodes are enlarged in multiple locations.

Hope it helps.
Any further queries, happy to help again.
Dr. Jyothi BL
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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