, Volume 279, Issue 5, pp 743-746
Date: 17 Sep 2008

A 12-year-old girl presenting with bilateral gigantic Burkitt’s lymphoma of the breast

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The female breast rarely constitutes the primary localization for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL). The incidence of primary breast lymphoma (PBL) lies between 0.04 and 1.1% for all breast tumors and 1.7–2.2% for all extranodal NHL. Mostly it occurs during the child-bearing period, during pregnancy or lactation. In general, children between the ages of 8 and 10 years are most frequently affected by Burkitt’s lymphoma. Methods for classification, detection and especially treatment of this condition continue being a subject of discussions and research. We present and evaluate the rare case of a 12-year-old girl with bilateral gigantic breast tumors treated during a surgical mission with “Doctors without borders” (MSF, “médecins sans frontiers”) in the zone of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The monstrous bilateral breast hypertrophy, symmetrical, rapidly growing, consequently ulcerating and severely bleeding had to be treated by bilateral mastectomy as a salvage procedure. Examinations through histopathology was not feasible and other facilities like ultrasound, CT, MRI and further laboratory examinations were not available.. The patient died 27 days after the surgical procedure. The histological result received by later examination in Germany showed a bilateral high malignant B cell lymphoma (Burkitt lymphoma) of the breast.