In 2016, it is estimated that 72,580 new cases of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL) will be diagnosed, accounting for 4.3% of all new cancer cases. This accounts as the 7th most common cancer in the US, after breast, lung, prostate, colon, bladder, and melanoma. 5 year overall survival is 70.7%, which has been stable based on 2004-2008 data. An estimated 20,150 deaths from NHL is projected, accounting for 3.4% of all cancer deaths in 2016.
NHL is more common in men than in women, with a median age of diagnosis at 66 y/o. It is more common among those of Caucasian descent.
We still do not know what causes NHL but there is data showing increased incidence in farming regions, and may be related to certain viruses, genetic inheritance and the pesticides and herbicides that is commonly used in the farming community.
You may or may not have symptoms related to NHL. Some do develop fatigue, fevers, drenching night sweats, loss of appetite or a palpable lymph node. Sometimes, they are also diagnosed incidentally based on a scan that was done for other reasons. Diagnosis of NHL involves lymph node biopsy, imaging scan and bone marrow to determine treatment and prognosis.
For more information: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003126-pdf.pdf or visit http://www.cancer.org/cancer/non-hodgkinlymphoma/
Wilhelmina Cabalona, MD
Portsmouth Hematology and Oncology Associates