Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) is the sixth most common malignancy in the UK, with 13,000 new cases diagnosed each year. However, after being diagnosed, approximately 65% of cancer patients live for 5 years or more years in the United Kingdom. Moreover, in the United States, the 5-year survival rate for African Americans and Caucasians with NHL is 63% and 73%, respectively. Furthermore, the mortality rate from NHL is 69.7% in India. In other words, the overall 5-year survival rate of patients with NHL in India is lower than the global average.
Doctors usually measure cancer survival rates over a 5-year period. The 5-year survival rate refers to the proportion of people who have survived cancer for 5 years or more.
Global survivability of non Hodgkin’s lymphomas
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is the sixth most common malignancy in the UK, with 13,000 new cases diagnosed each year. In 2012, the International Agency for Research on Cancer reported 0.39 million non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnoses worldwide. However, the most common indolent lymphoma is follicular lymphoma. Consequently, the most common aggressive lymphoma is diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL)1.
In general, for patients with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in the UK:
- Firstly, about 80% live for more than a year after being diagnosed with cancer.
- Secondly, about 65% live 5 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer.
- Lastly, around 55% are expected to live 10 years or more after being diagnosed with cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, NHL accounts for 4% of all cancers in the United States. In 2015, there were an estimated 71,850 new cases of NHL in the United States in 2015. It represents about 4-5% of all new cancers in men and women. The incidence of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma continues to increase with increasing age, and although the rate of decline has slowed in recent years, the incidence of the cancer continues to increase. NHL caused 19,790 deaths in 2015, with an overall 5-year survival rate of 63% for African Americans and 73% for Caucasians,2 according to the estimations.
Survivability of non Hodgkin’s lymphoma in India
Although the prevalence of NHL in India is lower than that of developed countries, the mortality rate is almost the same. According to Globocan (2012), the mortality rate in India is 69.7%. This shows that the overall 5-year survival rate is lower than the global average. Delayed diagnosis for advanced NHL, inadequate or incorrect treatment due to limited access, lack of capacity of local hospitals, availability of chemotherapy drugs, inability to complete NHL treatment and poor supervision can be major causes of high mortality in India3.
- 1.Bowzyk AN, Ajithkumar T, Behan S, Hodson D. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. BMJ. 2018;362:k3204. doi:10.1136/bmj.k3204
- 2.Ansell S. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: Diagnosis and Treatment. Mayo Clin Proc. 2015;90(8):1152-1163. doi:10.1016/j.mayocp.2015.04.025
- 3.Nair R, Arora N, Mallath M. Epidemiology of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in India. Oncology. 2016;91 Suppl 1:18-25. doi:10.1159/000447577