A lymphoma prognosis varies greatly depending on the type of lymphoma. There are more than 35 types of lymphoma, including 5 types of Hodgkin's Lymphoma and 30 types of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Hodgkin Lymphomas generally have a higher survival rate than NHL.
Indolent or Aggressive Lymphoma?
You also need to know if you have an indolent, or slow-growing cancer or an aggressive one. Aggressive cancers are generally harder to treat and have a poorer prognosis.
In recent years, lymphoma treatments have improved immensely, resulting in better prognoses for patients. Lymphoma survival rates depend on several things, including:
- Type of lymphoma (Non-Hodgkin's or Hodgkins, indolent or aggressive)
- Stage of the disease
- Age at diagnosis
- Prior or existing health problems
The staging of the disease is also important. Early stages (stage I and II) of the disease are usually indicated by involvement of only one or two groups of lymph nodes. Later stages (Stage III and IV) are marked by involvement of the internal organs, including the bone marrow and blood. In general, the earlier the stage of the cancer, the higher the survival rate.
Some cancers are also graded by the presence of specific symptoms. A patient suffering from night sweats, fever, and weight loss has a slightly lower chance or survival than an asymptomatic one. Other cancers are graded by the size of affected cells, with smaller cells promising a better outcome, usually.
The age of the patient is also important. Younger patients generally have a prognoses, with some five-year survival rates as high as 95%. In most cases, survival rates are also better for women than for men, so the sex of the patient is also important.
Finally, the health of the patient is a determining factor. If the patient was relatively healthy – meaning he or she isn't suffering from another disease upon diagnosis – then the prognosis is better. Patients suffering from other conditions or those who have relapsed lymphoma from previous treatment have a worse prognosis.
Resources and Treatment Options
Please visit the sites of cancer organizations or government websites like the SEER Stat Sheet Website for more information.