Epidemiology of lymphomas

Curr Opin Oncol. 2000 Sep;12(5):383-94. doi: 10.1097/00001622-200009000-00002.


Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is the fifth most common cancer in the US, with about 55,000 new cases estimated for the year 2000. According to the new Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data from 1973 to 1997, the age-adjusted incidence rates rose by about 80%, with an annual percentage increase of nearly 3%, which is faster than for the majority of cancers. The increasing incidence of NHL is largely unexplained. AIDS-related NHL accounts for some but not all of the increase. The American Cancer Society predicts about 7,400 new cases of Hodgkin Disease (HD) in the year 2000 in the US. The incidence of HD is consistently lower than that of NHL, and has decreased about 16% since the 1970s. Only a small portion of the decrease in HD incidence can be explained by misdiagnosis of HD as NHL. Further research is needed on the cofactors that predispose AIDS cases to lymphoma, as well as other possible causes of NHL such as immunosuppression, genetics, viruses, medical conditions, pesticides, solvents, hair dyes, and diet. Further evaluation of the role of viruses, occupational exposures, and genetics in the etiology of HD should prove valuable.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • United States / epidemiology