This chapter discusses the immunologic factors in cancer. Topics covered include structure and function of the immune system, immune variation and cancer risk, and age-related changes in immune function. Experience with a wide range of immune deficient conditions indicates that loss of immune competence does not globally increase cancer incidence. Limited sets of malignancies are increased that are specific to the underlying immune abnormalities. A common feature is the prominent excess of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in many of these disorders.
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