Hodgkin's Lymphoma Life Expectancy

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The clinical history of Hodgkin's lymphoma represents one of the few success stories in modern cancer treatment. Up until the 1950s and the arrival of the innovative Dr. Henry Kaplan, there was no such thing as a Hodgkin's lymphoma life expectancy. If you were diagnosed with Hodgkin's, you didn't have much of a life expectancy to discuss.

Thanks to Dr. Kaplan and to others such as Dr. Volker Diehl, Hodgkin's has become one of the most curable cancers among the known set of serious neoplasms (cancers).

The treatment options for Hodgkin's lymphoma are fairly well designed, having gone through many different clinical trials and many thousands of patients worldwide.

Because Hodgkin's lymphoma is generally such a treatable disease, it is odd to directly discuss life expectancy and Hodgkin's. Granted, discussing life expectancy and any cancer is the kind of conversation patients and caregivers want to have and doctors do not—chiefly because no doctor can tell any patient with any degree of certainty what their life expectancy is with any given cancer.

In the case of Hodgkin's, we can reasonably discuss cure rates, and life expectancy can be imagined from there.

The following are five-year survival rates for Hodgkin's lymphoma. In these instances, five-year survival equals 'cure' rate, as in the medical community if you are treated for cancer and it doesn't return after five years you are considered 'cured'.

-- Early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma: 90 to 91 %
-- Advanced-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma: 75.7%

Put another way, about nine in every ten patients diagnosed with early-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma will live at least five years. And three of every four diagnosed with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma will also live at least five years.

After that, there's no accounting for what those patients do with their lives. But to the extent that Hodgkin's remains an extraordinarily treatable disease, it remains one of the few exceptions in cancer researc

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