What is the prevalence of pediatric non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in the US?

Updated: Jun 14, 2018
  • Author: J Martin Johnston, MD; Chief Editor: Max J Coppes, MD, PhD, MBA  more...
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Taken collectively, lymphomas are the third most common childhood malignancies after acute leukemias (acute lymphoblastic leukemia, acute myelocytic leukemia) and brain tumors, [25] constituting 10-12% of childhood cancers. In older adolescents, lymphomas surpass brain tumors in incidence, largely because of the increased frequency of Hodgkin disease in this age group.

National cancer data from the NCI Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program for 2002-2006 are shown below. In children, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is somewhat less common than Hodgkin disease. However, the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma appears to be rising in the United States. This trend largely reflects the occurrence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in patients who are immunocompromised (eg, patients with HIV) and in patients who were previously exposed to chemotherapy and irradiation as treatment for an unrelated cancer.

Age-adjusted incidences of selected cancers per 100,000 individuals aged 0-19 years are as follows [25] :

  • All sites - 16.6

  • Leukemias - 4.5

  • Brain and other nervous tissues - 2.9

  • Hodgkin disease - 1.2

  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma - 1.1

  • Soft tissue - 1.1

  • Bone and joint - 0.9

  • Kidney and renal pelvis - 0.6

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