Objectives: A steady increase in incidence of lymphoid neoplasms has been reported, especially for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). Using high-quality incidence data from 1973-1992 in nine population-based cancer registries (Alberta, Bombay, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, Osaka, Oxford, Slovenia, Utah), we have examined past increases in specific lymphoid neoplasms. Further, by using a Bayesian age-period-cohort approach, we have calculated 5-, 10- and 15-year projections for each group of lymphoid neoplasms.
Results: NHL incidence increased in all centers by an average of 77% in men and 66% in women between 1973 and 1992. Fifteen-year projections of these rates to 2003-2007 indicate that they will increase by an average of 55% among men and 79% among women. High projected incidence rates above 15/100,000 in men and 10/100,000 in women are expected in Alberta, Denmark, Israel, New Zealand, Oxford, and Utah by 2003-2007. The one notable exception was among men from Osaka, where no increase was projected. Modest increases in leukemia and multiple myeloma rates were observed in most of the nine registries with further projected increases by 2007. Projected incidence rates of Hodgkin's disease indicated little change.
Conclusion: Increases in NHL rates are occurring worldwide and provide no evidence of peaking. A key assumption in the projected rates is that the effect of environmental agents determining the trends during 1973-1992 will remain stable during the subsequent projection period.