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Lymphoma

What Is The Outlook?

Thursday, April 19, 2012 - 13:42

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

By choosing the best treatment, your doctors will try to bring the cancer into remission, so that no more cancer can be found and there are no more symptoms.

The outlook for lymphoma and other cancers is measured in survival rates, or how many patients have been able to live for two years, five years, ten years, etc. before or after treatment.

Because there are so many different types of lymphoma and because the outlook for each patient varies widely, it is very difficult to predict the outcome for an individual case. We do know some general facts:

  • Although high-grade, aggressive lymphomas are usually quite deadly without treatment, many can now be cured with proper treatment.
  • On the other hand, most low-grade, indolent lymphomas can be left alone for years. But, they usually prove to be very stubborn and surprisingly difficult to cure. They often return, usually within a couple of years after treatment. Repeating the treatment can then often put them back into remission, but they usually come back.
  • A lymphoma with a lower stage (Stage I or II) has a better outlook than one with a higher stage (Stage III or IV).

Certain factors make the chance of remission and long-term survival more likely. These positive factors include:

  • Small, localized tumors.
  • Absence of B symptoms.
  • Young age
  • Female gender

Lymphoma (Non-Hodgkin's Type)