Burkitt's Lymphoma is the fastest growing type of cancer. In two months it can grow from the size of a pea to that of these masses below completely disfiguring the face. This type of Burkitt's lymphoma, preferentially arising near the jawbones is seen solely in countries where malaria is present although the exact reason for the link hasn't been fully proven. Thankfully it responds very quickly to chemotherapy and if all 6 courses, including 9 doses directly into the spinal fluid, are completed, the chance of cure is > 95%. In our first week after returning from our temporary withdrawal to Burkina Faso, we received 4 new cases of Burkitt's. Three of the jaw and 1 of the ovaries, which is another frequent location for Burkitt's in Africa. Three of these four also had metastases throughout the abdomen which will typically also disappear with chemotherapy.
Here are 2 of the 4 at their arrival followed by a group picture of all four accompanied by our other patient with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
|Bourama at arrival. His abdomen was full of large masses as well.|
|Adama's bilateral facial masses had rapidly progressed over 2 months before they heard about our hospital, despite living over 2 hours away.|