As 15 September 2009 was World Lymphoma Awareness Day, it is perhaps timely to review the subject of malignant lymphoma. There is an increasing incidence of malignant lymphomas worldwide. Correspondingly our nationwide Singapore Cancer Registry demonstrates a substantial increase in the incidence of malignant lymphomas.1 The male and female age-standardised incidence rates (ASR) rose from 3.1 to 8.2 per 100,000 and 1.9 to 8.0 per 100,000 respectively between two 5-year periods 1968 to 1972 and 1998 to 2002. The annual rate of increase in ASR is the second highest after prostate cancer in males and second highest after breast cancer in females. However, there were only 771 males and 551 females who were diagnosed with malignant lymphoma during the period 1998 to 2002 ranking as 8th and 10th commonest cancers in males and females respectively. These figures excluded plasma cell myelomas and lymphoid leukaemias which at the time of compilation were regarded separately.
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