Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Death Rates Continue to Fall

Survival remains high despite half of patients being diagnosed with distant cancer that has metastasized.


The 5-year relative survival rate for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) climbed to 72.7% and is as high as 82.6% for localized NHL, according to the most recent SEER data. The number of new cases remains high at 19.1 per 100,000 people (all races) per year; however the number of deaths is relatively low at 5.7 deaths per 100,000 people (all races) per year. Death rates have been falling on average 2.4% each year from 2004 to 2013.

While the new cases represent 4.3% of all new cancer diagnoses, NHL deaths represent 3.4% of all cancer deaths. Based on 2011-2013 SEER data, about 2.1% of men and women will receive a NHL diagnosis at some point during their lifetime.

Patient diagnoses by stage:

  • 28% are diagnosed at the local stage
  • 15% are diagnosed with spread to regional lymph nodes
  • 50% are diagnosed after distant cancer has metastasized
  • 8% unknown/unstaged

As of 2013, there were an estimated 569,536 people living with NHL in the U.S.

Using statistical models for analysis, rates for new non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases have not changed significantly over the past 10 years.

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