- NHL (all subtypes combined) is the 6th most common cancer in the UK. It is the 5th most common cancer in males and the 7th in females.
- Around 12,800 new cases of NHL (all subtypes combined) were registered in the UK in 2011, which is around 35 people every day.
- The most common NHL subtype is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (48% of cases). Marginal zone lymphomas and follicular lymphoma make up 20% and 19% of cases respectively. The remainder of cases are T-cell lymphomas, mantle cell lymphoma, and Burkitt Lymphoma.
- More than 3 in 10 of all NHL (all subtypes combined) cases are diagnosed in people aged 75 and over.
- The rarer NHL subtype Burkitt lymphoma is more common in young people, with under-45s accounting for almost half of cases.
- NHL (all subtypes combined) registration rates in Great Britain are around three times higher now than they were in the mid-1970s. But changes in diagnosis and registration are thought to explain much of this increase.
- NHL (all subtypes combined) accounts for more than half of lymphomas diagnosed in children. It accounts for around a third of lymphomas diagnosed in teenagers and young adults.
- Most NHL cases are diagnosed at a late stage.
- In Europe, around 93,500 new cases of NHL were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012. The UK incidence rate is ninth highest in Europe for males and eighth highest for females.
- Worldwide, nearly 386,000 new cases of NHL (all subtypes combined) were estimated to have been diagnosed in 2012, with incidence rates varying across the world.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma statistics
New cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 2011, UK
Deaths from non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 2012, UK
Survive non-Hodgkin lymphoma for 10 or more years, 2010-11, England and Wales
Preventable cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, UK
- NHL (all subtypes combined) is the 11th most common cause of cancer death in the UK.
- Around 4,700 people died from NHL (all subtypes combined) in 2012 in the UK, that is 13 every day.
- NHL (all subtypes combined) is the 12th most common cause of cancer death in men in the UK with around 2,600 deaths in 2012.
- NHL (all subtypes combined) is the 8th most common cause of cancer death in women in the UK with around 2,100 deaths in 2012.
- More than half of all deaths from NHL (all subtypes combined) occur in people aged 75 and over.
- It is estimated that there were more than 31,000 deaths from NHL (all subtypes combined) in Europe (EU-27) in 2008.
- In Europe, around 37,900 people were estimated to have died from NHL in 2012. The UK mortality rate is sixth highest in Europe for males and eighth highest for females.
- Worldwide, more than 199,000 people were estimated to have died from NHL (all subtypes combined) in 2012, with mortality rates varying across the world.
- Around 7 in 10 people diagnosed with NHL (all subtypes combined) will survive the disease for at least five years.
- Almost 9 in 10 people with follicular lymphoma will survive their disease for at least five years.
- Fewer than 3 in 10 mantle cell lymphoma patients will survive their disease for at least five years.
- NHL (all subtypes combined) patients are now almost three times as likely to survive their disease for at least ten years compared with those diagnosed in the early 1970s. More than 6 in 10 NHL patients will survive their disease for at least ten years.
- Survival for NHL (all subtypes combined) is higher for younger patients. More than 8 in 10 patients aged 15-49 years old will survive the disease for at least five years, compared with less than 4 in 10 patients aged 80 and over.
- 70% of people whose NHL (all subtypes combined) is diagnosed when the disease is at an early stage will survive their disease for at least five years, compared with 58% of people diagnosed when the disease is advanced.
- 6% of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (all subtypes combined) cases each year in the UK are linked to major lifestyle and other risk factors.
- A person’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) depends on many factors, including age, genetics, and exposure to risk factors (including some potentially avoidable lifestyle factors).
- Evidence on NHL risk factors is limited, mainly because of the relative rarity and diversity of this group of cancers.
- An estimated 4% of NHL cases in the UK are linked to infections (mainly H pylori).
- Certain occupational exposures and medications cause NHL.
- Ionising radiation, problems with the immune system, and overweight and obesity (for some NHL types) may relate to higher NHL risk.
- GP referral (not ‘two-week wait’) is the most common route to diagnosis of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
- ‘Two-week wait’ and ’31-day wait’ standards are met by all countries, and ‘62-day wait’ is not met by any country for haematological cancers.
The latest statistics available for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (all subtypes combined) are; incidence 2011, mortality 2012 and survival 2010-2011.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma statistics by subtype are provided for the Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN) region. HMRN covers a population of 3.6 million and is set within the former adjacent UK Cancer Networks of Yorkshire and the Humber & Yorkshire Coast England. While HMRN may not be fully representative of the country as a whole due to variation in local healthcare provision standards and policies, the population does have a similar socio-demographic profile to the UK.
Survival statistics give an overall picture of survival and (unless otherwise stated) include all adults (15-99) diagnosed, at all ages,
Overall, the evidence on NHL risk factors is limited, mainly because of the relative rarity and diversity of this cancer type; most research examines immune system-related factors.
Routes to diagnosis statistics were calculated from cases of cancer registered in England which were diagnosed in 2006-2010.
Cancer waiting times statistics are for patients who entered the health care system within financial year 2014-15. NHL is part of the group 'Haematological cancers' for cancer waiting times data. Codes vary per country but broadly include: Hodgkin lymphoma, follicular and non-follicular lymphoma, mature T/NK-caell lymphoma, other and unspecified types of NHL, other and unspecified types of T/NK-cell lymphoma, malignant immunoproliferative diseases, myeloma, lymphoid, myeloid and monocytic leukaemia, some other leukaemia of specific or unspecified cell type, and other and unspecified malignant neoplasms of lymphoid, haematopoietic and related tissue.
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We would like to thank the following people for their kind help and expert advice: Dr Alex Smith and Professor Eve Roman, Haematological Malignancy Research Network (HMRN, funded by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research); Dr Hamish Ross, National Cancer Intelligence Network (NCIN) haematology; Site-Specific Clinical Reference Group (which is hosted by Public Health England); Dr Steven Oliver, Knowledge and Intelligence Team (Northern & Yorkshire) on behalf of the NCIN; Dr Russell Patmore, Queens Centre for Oncology and Haematology, Castle Hill Hospital; and Dr Debra Howell, HMRN. However, the contents are entirely the responsibility of Cancer Research UK.
We would also like to acknowledge the essential work of the cancer registries in the United Kingdom and Ireland Association of Cancer Registries, without which there would be no data.