Epidemiology

On the basis of data gathered by the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program of the National Cancer Institute from 1975 to 2001, 7880 new cases of HL were expected in the United States in 2004, with 4330 cases in men and 3550 cases in women. From

1997 to 2001, the age-adjusted incidence rate reached 3.0/100,000 person-years, or 2.9/100,000 person-years in patients under the age of 65, and 4.3/100,000 person-years in patients 65 and older. The incidence is highest in Caucasian males, although females are commonly affected with the nodular sclerosing subtype. The median age at diagnosis is 36 years; however, as first described by MacMahon, a bimodal distribution of HL exists, with one peak in young adults (ages 15-34) and a second in patients older than 50.10 For patients aged 15-34, age-adjusted rates of HL range from 3.1 to 4.6 per 100,000 person-years and for patients older than 50, age-adjusted rates range from 2.8 to 3.8. Fortunately, the majority of patients with HL survive, with 5-year survival rates of 85% (88% in patients younger than 65, and 52% in patients 65 and older).

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