Updated 30 March 2017

10 quick facts on lymphoma

Worldwide, approximately one million people live with lymphoma. At the same time, less than 50% of the population know about this potentially life-threatening disease.

Worldwide, approximately one million people live with lymphoma. At the same time, less than 50% of the population know about this potentially life-threatening disease.

On World Lymphoma Awareness Day (15 September), we highlight a few important facts:

  1. Lymphomas are cancers that develop in the lymph system, which is part of the body's immune system.
  2. Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer diagnosed in adults and the third most common cancer diagnosed in children.
  3. The different sub-types of lymphoma are divided into two main types: Hodgkin’s lymphoma (or Hodgkin’s disease) and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  4. Worldwide, over 62 000 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma every year. Of those, 60% are male and 40% are female. Approximately 25 000 people die every year from this disease.
  5. While the exact cause of lymphoma remains unknown, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma occurs much more frequently in HIV-infected people than in the general population.
  6. There are some indications that certain chemicals, such as insecticides and wood-preserving materials, are linked to this form of cancer.
  7. Lymphoma often causes fever and night sweats. Further lymphoma symptoms depend on which areas of the body are affected, for example the neck, groin or underarm area.
  8. Lymphoma may be treated with chemotherapy and lymphoma involving the brain may be treated with radiation therapy.
  9. Effectiveness of treatment depends on the particular cell characteristics of the lymphoma, its location, and how much it has spread, as well as the strength of your immune system.
  10. Early diagnosis and treatment greatly improves the outcome of the disease.

    Sources: Lymphoma Research Foundation ( and Lymphoma Coalition (

Read more:

Early lymphoma diagnosis critical
'I'm 13 and I beat cancer'


Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Ask the Expert

Cancer expert

CANSA’s purpose is to lead the fight against cancer in South Africa. Its mission is to be the preferred non-profit organisation that enables research, educates the public and provides support to all people affected by cancer. Questions are answered by CANSA’s Head of Health Professor Michael Herbst. For more information, visit

Still have a question?

Get free advice from our panel of experts

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

* You must accept our condition

Forum Rules