Burkitt lymphoma, or BL, is a kind of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer and is broken down into Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin types, based on the kind of white blood cells involved. Lymphoma starts in the lymphatic system. This system includes the lymph nodes, spleen, thymus gland, and bone marrow. Your body has white blood cells that protect you from infection and disease. When you have lymphoma, these cells grow out of control or live longer than normal.