Lymphoid blood cancers, incidence and survival 2005-2023: A report from the UK's Haematological Malignancy Research Network

Maxine Lamb, Daniel Painter, Debra Howell, Sharon Barrans, Catherine Cargo, Ruth de Tute, Reuben Tooze, Cathy Burton, Russell Patmore, Eve Roman, Alexandra Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Population-based information on cancer incidence and outcome are required to inform clinical practice and research; but contemporary data are lacking for many lymphoid cancer subtypes.

METHODS: Set within a socio-demographically representative UK population of ∼4 million, data are from an established UK patient cohort (N = 22,414 diagnoses). Information on incidence (crude and age-standardised) and survival (overall and net) is presented for > 40 subtypes.

RESULTS: The median diagnostic age was 69.9 years (interquartile range 59.1-78.3), but unlike many other cancers, lymphoid malignancies can be diagnosed at any age; different subtypes dominating at different ages. Males were more likely to be diagnosed than females (age-standardised sex rate ratio: 1.55 (95% Confidence Interval: 1.50,1.59)), and most subtypes had a male predominance, some more than three-fold (e.g. Burkitt lymphoma 3.26 (2.42, 4.40)). Five-year net survival estimates varied hugely, ranging from 97.4% (95% CI: 56.5, 99.9) in patients with hairy cell leukaemia to 31.6% (95% CI: 2.5, 69.8) in those with T-cell prolymphocytic leukaemia. No significant sex difference in survival were observed for the majority of diagnoses; one exception being classical Hodgkin lymphoma, where males had a higher mortality (Excess Mortality Ratio: 1.44 (95% CI: 1.11, 1.87)). An improvement in survival over time was observed for some, but not all, of the major diagnostic groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Marked incidence and survival variations by subtype, sex and age confirm the heterogeneity of lymphoid neoplasms and highlight the importance of accurately characterising disease entities. Despite recent improvements, routine cancer registration of lymphoid neoplasms remains challenging and new issues continue to emerge; including the lack of an international consensus on classification and the recording of progressions and transformations. Furthermore, the increasing need for additional molecular and genomic information required for accurate classification is likely to impact negatively on the quality of cancer registration data, especially in low income countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102513
Number of pages11
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Early online date30 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2024

Bibliographical note

© 2023 The Authors


  • Humans
  • Male
  • Female
  • Aged
  • Incidence
  • Hematologic Neoplasms/epidemiology
  • Lymphoma/epidemiology
  • Hodgkin Disease
  • United Kingdom/epidemiology

Cite this