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Northern California Cancer Center's First-of-Its-Kind Research Reveals Low Socioeconomic Status Often Equals Poor Chance of Lymphoma Survival

Considerably higher risk of follicular lymphoma-related death in poorer neighborhoods may be linked to care required to address waxing and waning progression of disease

FREMONT, Calif., July 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Northern California Cancer Center (NCCC) recently found that lower socioeconomic status is "significantly associated with substantially poorer survival" of follicular lymphoma in California.

Although survival rates for lymphomas have improved in recent years, not all groups are experiencing improvements. The NCCC team, headed by Theresa Keegan, Ph.D., found that among all patients diagnosed with follicular lymphoma in California, those in poorer neighborhoods had as much as a 37% increased risk of death from the disease, regardless of race/ethnicity, or the stage of their disease when diagnosed. The study results were published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, June, 2009. NCCC's research is the first to look at socioeconomic levels and survival of this form of cancer.

Follicular lymphoma, the slow-growing, most common type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, is a cancer of the immune system and white blood cells which affects men and women equally. The cancer involves the body's lymph nodes which fight infection and disease. It begins with an enlargement of the lymph nodes and symptoms can include fever, weight loss, sweating and fatigue. It is called "follicular" lymphoma because lymph nodes seen under microscopes display unusual rounded structures called "follicles."

Follicular lymphoma is known for its waxing and waning course. It may flare up and regress a number of times over years, which would require a continuing care program. The nature of the disease could make it difficult for people who may not be able to access effective treatment services due to their socioeconomic status.

About the Northern California Cancer Center:

The Northern California Cancer Center ( is the only center in the country dedicated solely to cancer prevention research. It is recognized nationally as a leader in researching the causes and patterns of cancer across the population and improving the prevention and detection of cancer.


SOURCE Northern California Cancer Center
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