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Br J Haematol. 2005 Mar;128(6):792-6.

Incidence and spectrum of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Chinese migrants to British Columbia.

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Department of Medical Oncology, British Columbia Cancer Agency and the University of British Columbia.


The incidence and spectrum of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) differ between the Chinese and Caucasian populations. Using population-based registries, we studied the pattern of NHL in Chinese migrants to British Columbia (BC). The records of all NHL cases of Chinese descent diagnosed between 1980 and 1997 were retrieved. Age-standardized incidences were calculated by 5-year intervals in terms of age and calendar years and the relative rates were compared between the migrant, Hong Kong and BC populations. The histological distribution of NHL was compared with 4500 consecutive NHL cases diagnosed in the two populations. A total of 211 cases of migrant NHL were identified, with an age-standardized incidence rate of 7.11 per 100 000 per year, compared with the Hong Kong and BC rates of 7.91 [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) = 0.86, P = 0.01] and 11.88 (SIR = 0.56, P < 0.01). The standardized rates of follicular lymphoma remained low, but the incidence of gastric and nasal natural killer/T lymphomas in migrants were lower than expected. Genetic factors appeared to be stronger than environmental factors in governing the overall incidence of NHL in Chinese. However, certain subtypes of lymphoma may show decreased rates in migrants because of environmental factors.

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