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Non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (NHLs) are in fact a heterogeneous group
of lymphoproliferative malignancies with differing patterns of
behavior and responses to treatment.
Estimated new cases and deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL)
in the United States in 2005:
- New cases: 56,390.
- Deaths: 19,200.
In the United States, the incidence has increased from 6.9 per
100,000 population in 1947 to 1950 to 17.4 per 100,000 population in
1984 to 1988.
Male : female ratio is about 1.5:1.
Except for high-grade lymphoblastic and Burkitt lymphomas (the
most common types of NHL seen in children and young adults), the
median age at presentation for all subtypes of NHL exceeds 50+
years. Low-grade lymphomas account for 37% of NHLs in patients
between the ages of 35 and 64 years at diagnosis but for only 16% of
cases in those younger than age 35.
Race and ethnicity
Incidence varies by race, with whites at higher risk than blacks
and Asian-Americans. Most histologies, particularly low-grade small
lymphocytic and follicular lymphomas, are more common in whites than
blacks. The incidence of mycosis fungoides and other peripheral
T-cell lymphomas is higher in black males and lowest in white
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Certain endemic geographic factors appear to influence the
development of NHL in specific areas:
- Burkitt lymphoma in Africa
- Immunoproliferative small intestinal disease (α−chain
disease) is rarely encountered in individuals other than those
of Mediterranean ethnic origin.
- Human T-cell lymphotrophic virus-1 (HTLV-1)?associated
T-cell lymphoma/leukemia occurs more frequently in Japan
(Kyushu) and the Caribbean.
- Peripheral T-cell lymphomas are more common in Europe and
China than in North America.
- Follicular lymphomas are more common in North America and
Europe but are rare in the Caribbean, Africa, China, Japan, and
the Middle East.