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Non-Hodgkin lymphoma survival statistics

One-, five- and ten-year survival statistics for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) by age and trends over time are presented here. There are also data by NHL subtype, stage at diagnosis, geography, and socio-economic variation. The ICD codes for non-Hodgkin lymphoma are ICD-10 C82-C85.

The statistics on these pages give an overall picture of survival. Unless otherwise stated, the statistics include all adults diagnosed with NHL, at all ages, stages and co-morbidities. The survival time experienced by an individual patient may be much higher or lower, depending on specific patient and cancer characteristics. If you are a patient, you will probably find our CancerHelp pages more relevant and useful.

The latest survival statistics available for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in England are 2005-2009. Find out why these are the latest statistics available.

 

One-, five- and ten-year survival

The latest age-standardised (AS) relative survival rates for NHL (all subtypes combined) in England during 2005-2009 show that 76% of men are expected to survive their disease for at least one year, falling to 61% surviving five years or more (Table 3.1).1-2 The survival rates for women are slightly higher, with 79% expected to survive for one year or more and 66% surviving for at least five years. This sex difference is probably due to different distribution of NHL subtypes in men and women. Broadly similar survival rates have been reported for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.3-5

Table 3.1: Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (C82-C85), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival, Adults Aged 15-99, England, 2005-2009 and 2009

Relative Survival (%)
1 Year 5 Year 10 Year
Sex 2005-2009 2005-2009 2009
Male 76.0 61.5 54.3
Female 78.9 65.7 58.4

Download this table XLS (31KB) PPT (122KB) PDF (179KB)

Ten-year survival rates predicted for patients diagnosed in 2009 (using hybrid approach)

The five-year AS relative survival rates for NHL (all subtypes combined) are among the highest of the 21 most common cancers in England.2 These relatively high survival rates can be attributed in part to the effectiveness of chemotherapy against some subtypes, and the indolent nature of others.

Data from the Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN) region show that one-year survival rates are significantly better for follicular lymphoma (FL, 96%) than for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL, 65%), mantle cell lymphoma (MCL, 71%), or marginal zone lymphomas (MZL, 92%) (Figure 3.1).6 Five-year survival rates follow a similar pattern, with rates significantly better for FL (87%) and significantly worse for MCL (27%) in comparison with the other main NHL subtypes. MCL, which is an aggressive NHL subtype, shows the largest fall in survival between one and five years after diagnosis.

Figure 3.1: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma, Main Subtypes, One- and Five-Year Relative Survival, All Ages, HMRN 2004-2011

surv_1_5yr_nhl_subtypes.swf

Download this chart XLS (48KB) PPT (137KB) PDF (35KB)

section reviewed 23/05/13
section updated 23/05/13

By age

As with nearly all cancers, relative survival for NHL (all subtypes combined) is higher in younger men and women, even after taking account of the higher background mortality in older people. The reasons for this are likely to include a combination of better general health, and better response to and tolerance of treatment.

The five-year relative survival rates for NHL in men in England during 2005-2009 range from 80% in 15-39 year olds to 34% in 80-99 year olds (Figure 3.2).2 A similar pattern is seen in women, with relative survival rates ranging from 82% in 15-39 year olds to 36% in 80-99 year olds.

Figure 3.2: Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (C82-C85), Five-Year Relative Survival by Age at Diagnosis, Adults Aged 15-99, England, 2005-2009

surv_5yr_age_nhl.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (134KB) PDF (77KB)

A similar pattern is seen for survival rates by subtype in the HMRN region, with lower rates in older patients and higher rates in younger patients for the four main NHL subtypes (data not shown).

Unlike many other cancers, survival for older people with NHL has improved in recent years and this pattern is expected to continue. The latest predictions from the US indicate that almost 8 in 10 60-64 year-olds diagnosed with NHL in 2008-2012 will survive their disease for at least five years.7 Around 5 in 10 people diagnosed at age 80 or older are expected to survive their NHL for at least five years.7

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section updated 23/05/13

Trends over time

As with the majority of cancers, relative survival for NHL is improving. This can generally be attributed to more effective chemotherapy (particularly rituximab for DLBCL and FL) and earlier diagnosis of more indolent NHL subtypes.

In men, one-year AS relative survival rates for NHL (all subtypes combined) in England increased by 26 percentage points between 1971-1975 and 2005-2009 (Figure 3.3).8 In women, one-year AS relative survival rates increased by 27 percentage points during the same time period.

Five- and ten-year relative survival estimates showed greater improvements. In men, five-year relative survival rates for NHL in England increased by 34 percentage points between 1971-1975 and 2005-2009 (Figure 3.3).8 In women, five-year relative survival rates increased by 34 percentage points during the same time period.

Ten-year relative survival rates for men diagnosed with NHL in England are predicted to have increased by 33 percentage points between 1971-1975 and 2009 (Table 3.1).1 In women, ten-year relative survival rates are predicted to have increased by 34 percentage points during the same time period.

Figure 3.3: Non Hodgkin Lymphoma (C82-C85), Age-Standardised One-, Five- and Ten-Year Relative Survival, Adults Aged 15-99, England, 1971-2009

surv_1_5_10_trends_nhl.swf

Download this chart XLS (51KB) PPT (138KB) PDF (33KB)

section reviewed 23/05/13
section updated 23/05/13

By stage

Patients who are diagnosed with NHL at an early stage have a much better prognosis than those who present with more extensive disease (Figure 3.4).6 HMRN data indicate that 70% of patients diagnosed at Stage I are alive five years after diagnosis, compared with 58% of patients with advanced disease (Stage IV). The impact of stage at diagnosis on five-year survival rates varies by subtype: for FL, diagnosis at Stage I and Stage IV confers survival rates of 91% and 79%, respectively; for DLBCL the survival difference by stage is more marked, with Stage I and Stage IV survival rates of 63% and 46%, respectively.

Figure 3.4: Non Hodgkin Lymphoma, Main Subtypes, Five-Year Crude Survival, By Stage at Diagnosis, All Ages, HMRN, 2004-2011

surv_crude_nhl_substypes.swf

Download this chart XLS (46KB) PPT (136KB) PDF (37KB)

Very few MCL cases diagnosed at Stage I or II therefore data on this subtype not included in this figure

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section updated 23/05/13

In Europe

The most recent Europe-wide five-year survival data for NHL (all subtypes combined) in 1995-1999 show England is slightly below the average for Europe (55%). Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are also lower than the European average.8 Across the European countries, five-year survival rates range from 44% to 63%. However, as with international incidence estimates, differing data collection practices throughout Europe may contribute to the ranking of individual countries.

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section updated 23/05/13

By socio-economic variation

The most recent England-wide data for 2004-2006 showed NHL (all subtypes combined) three-year survival rates for men were significantly lower in the most deprived areas than in the most affluent (60% versus 65%). For women, the deprivation gap was not significant (61% versus 68%).9 However, a similar study from Scotland for 1996-2000 did not find any significant differences in survival by deprivation.10 Rates of emergency presentation with NHL were significantly higher in the most deprived areas than in the most affluent, a study of patients in England in 2006-2008 found;11 however a previous study found socio-economic status did not appear to be associated with delays in NHL diagnosis.12

section reviewed 23/05/13
section updated 23/05/13

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References for non-Hodgkin lymphoma survival

  1. Survival estimates were provided by the Cancer Research UK Cancer Survival Group, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine on request, December 2012. http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/eph/ncde/cancersurvival/
  2. Office for National Statistics (ONS). Cancer survival in England: Patients diagnosed 2005-2009 and followed up to 2010. London: ONS; 2011.
  3. Welsh Cancer Intelligence and Surveillance Unit. Cancer Survival Trends in Wales 1985-2004. Wales; 2010.
  4. Information Services Division Scotland (ISD Scotland). Cancer in Scotland (October 2012). Scotland: ISD Scotland; 2010.
  5. Northern Ireland Cancer Registry. Cancer Survival Online Statistics. Available at: http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/nicr/CancerData/OnlineStatistics/.
  6. Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN). Personal communication.
  7. Pulte D, Gondos A, Brenner H. Expected long-term survival of older patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2008–2012. Cancer Epidemiol 2012;36:e19-e25.
  8. Sant M, Allemani C, Santaquilani M, et al. EUROCARE-4.Survival of cancer patients diagnosed in 1995-1999. Results and commentary. Eur J Cancer 2009;45:931-91.
  9. Rachet B, Ellis L, Maringe C, et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in England after the NHS cancer plan. Brit J Cancer 2010;103:446-53.
  10. Shack LG, Rachet B, Brewster DH, et al. Socioeconomic inequalities in cancer survival in Scotland 1986-2000. Brit J Cancer 2007;97:999-1004.
  11. National Cancer Intelligence Network. Routes to Diagnosis, 2006-2008: NCIN information supplement. London: NCIN; 2012.
  12. Neal RD, Allgar VL. Sociodemographic factors and delays in the diagnosis of six cancers: analysis of data from the "National Survey of NHS Patients: Cancer". Brit J Cancer 2005;92:1971-5.

 

Updated: 23 May 2013