Lymphomas are a form of blood cancer caused by the uncontrolled proliferation and malignant transformation of some types of white blood cells (B, T and Natural Killer, NK lymphocytes) which, physiologically, have the task of defending the body from external agents and diseases.
Malignant lymphomas represent the fifth most frequent type of tumor in the western world, with an incidence of about 19-20 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, influenced by geographical factors and correlated to age and ethnicity, resulting higher in industrialized countries, in male and white subjects.
As concerns its clinical classification, it is an extremely variable disease so that the World Health Organization identifies over 60 different types of lymphoma.
However, for the sake of simplification two main groups are identified:
In Italy it is estimated that every year about 16 thousand new cases of lymphoma are diagnosed with an annual increase of 1.3%.