Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

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What Is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma? TOPICS

What are the key statistics about non-Hodgkin lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) is one of the most common cancers in the United States, accounting for about 4% of all cancers. The American Cancer Society’s most recent estimates for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma for 2015 are:

  • About 71,850 people (39,850 males and 32,000 females) will be diagnosed with NHL. This includes both adults and children.
  • About 19,790 people will die from this cancer (11,480 males and 8,310 females).

The average American’s risk of developing NHL during his or her lifetime is about 1 in 50. Each person’s risk may be affected by certain risk factors (listed in the next section).

Death rates from NHL have been decreasing since the late 1990s.

Although some types of NHL are among the more common childhood cancers, more than 95% of cases occur in adults. The types of NHL seen in children are often very different from those seen in adults. For more information, see our document Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in Children.

NHL can occur at any age, but about half of patients are older than 66. The risk of developing NHL increases throughout life. The aging of the American population is likely to lead to an increase in NHL cases during the coming years.

Last Medical Review: 08/26/2014
Last Revised: 03/11/2015