Aggressive lymphomas, a general term that includes any cancer that
infects the lymph system, can occur among patients who are HIV-positive.
It is estimated that 10 percent of HIV-positive patients will develop
lymphoma. The lymphomas that are most often seen in HIV patients who develop
them are large cell immunoblastic; small non-cleaved cell (Burkitt's and
Non-Burkitt's); primary central nervous system (CNS); and Hodgkin's disease.
Large cell immunoblastic lymphoma is an aggressive type of lymphoma that
grows rapidly and may involve the brain, bone, skin or gastrointestinal
tract. Small non-cleaved cell lymphoma (SNCL) is also an aggressive form
that comes in three varieties, all of which are more prevalent in males.
Burkitt's includes endemic (widespread) Burkitt's lymphoma; sporadic Burkitt's
lymphoma; and non-Burkitt's lymphoma.
Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma is lymphoma limited to the
brain and brain stem without widespread disease. An increasing incidence
of this disease has been seen among AIDS patients and other individuals
with compromised immune systems. Hodgkin's disease or Hodgkin's lymphoma
is a malignant (cancerous) growth of cells in the lymph system.
The symptoms, staging and methods of diagnosing Hodgkins's disease are
the same for both the AIDS and non-AIDS related forms. Likewise, treatment
may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and bone marrow and blood
stem cell transplants