Lymphoma is blood cancer that attacks the lymph system, a vital part of the immune system. The first and most common signs are swollen but painless lymph nodes. The most common blood disease, lymphoma is typed either Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s, both of which determine diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Because the symptoms associated with lymphoma are common to other diseases, diagnosis is difficult.
Prognosis is a physician’s estimate about a cancer’s progression, course of treatment, and how it will affect the patient. The survival of patients with lymphoma has increased during recent decades, but the prognosis is influenced by a series of factors, including the patients’ medical history, cancer type, stage and characteristics, as well as choice of treatment.
Lymphoma Survival Prognosis
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 93% of the patients diagnosed with regionally contained lymphoma survive for five years. More evolved diagnostic methods and the latest findings in the field continue to increase patient survival possibilities. About 65,500 new cases of lymphoma are diagnosed in the US every year; about 20,000 die from the disease. The average age of death is 75; women are more likely to survive than men.
Factors That Impact Lymphoma Prognosis
- In stage 1, cancer is limited to a group of lymph nodes, usually in the neck or armpits; in stage 2, usually more than two groups of lymph nodes are involved. Stage 3 is diagnosed when cancer has spread to a series of lymph node groups; and in stage 4, the cancer has already spread to organs and bone marrow, in addition to the lymphatic system.
- Patients are diagnosed according to symptoms as A or B lymphoma. “A” means that there are no symptoms in addition to swollen lymph nodes, “B” includes symptoms like weight loss, fever, and night sweats.
- Age is also important because patients older than 60 years are less likely to be successfully treated and fully recovered.
- The lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) level, which is measured in blood tests, determines the growth of the tumor. Patients with higher LDH are more likely to have fast-growing lymphomas.
- The type and size of the lymphoma is also important to establish prognosis because smaller tumors are easier to treat, as well as B-cell lymphomas and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, compared to T-cell lymphomas.
Prognosis After Lymphoma Treatment
Treatment for lymphoma can be chemotherapy, radiation therapy and other options, according to the specific disease and patient characteristics. But the success of lymphoma treatment is not linear, even with increasingly good possibilities of survival. Patients with all types of lymphoma will likely need to continue physician visits for follow-up treatment and to be watchful for other potential problems that could include the occurrence of new cancers.
Note: Lymphoma News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.