What is the Survival Rate for Hodgkin's Disease?

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Hodgkin's Disease—also referred to as Hodgkin's Lymphoma, these are the exact same diseases, just differing names—enjoys a very high survival rate in most circumstances, especially when set against the full set of known cancers. In fact, more research and more scientific study have gone into the investigation of Hodgkin's than virtually any other cancer. Consequently more is known about this cancer than almost any other cancer.

This is the case despite the fact that Hodgkin's is a very rare cancer, with under 10,000 diagnoses made in the United States every year. Compare that to incidence of the likes of lung cancer, breast cancer or prostate cancer—each of which sees about 220,000-230,000 diagnoses in the US annually.

The following survival rates are are taken from the National Cancer Institute's SEER Statistics . They do not directly take into account an important aspect of a diagnosis of Hodgkin's—whether or not the patient has so-called B symptoms. When B symptoms are present, the diagnosis will indicate as much either by adding an A or a B after the diagnosis, or it will be listed as being 'favorable' (A) or 'unfavorable' (B).

Early-Stage Hodgkin's Disease

Early-stage Hodgkin's Disease refers to a diagnosis of Hodgkin's that is staged as either stage I or stage II.

The five-year relative survival rate for early-stage Hodgkin's is about 90 percent. This means that five years after being diagnosed, about nine of every ten patients with early-stage or localized Hodgkin's who are treated with standard therapies will be disease-free after that time. In cancer-speak, being disease-free for five years is the equivalent of being 'cured' of that cancer.

Advanced-Stage Hodgkin's Disease

Advanced-stage Hodgkin's Disease refers to a diagnosis of Hodgkin's that is staged as either stage III or stage IV.

The five-year relative survival rate for advanced-stage Hodgkin's is about 75 percent. As explained above, this means that five years after being diagnosed, about three quarters of patients with advanced-stage Hodgkin's who are treated with standard therapies will be disease-free after that time. In cancer-speak, being disease-free for five years is the equivalent of being 'cured' of that cancer.

Conclusion

While the survival rate for Hodgkin's Disease is generally very high, unfortunately as many as one thousand patients succumb to this disease annually in the United States. As medicine has learned more and more about Hodgkin's, they have learned that about ten percent of Hodgkin's patients have a disease that is refractory to current treatment modalities. At present, there is no way to indicate which patients will have refractory disease and which ones will respond to treatment.

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