Lymphoma Prognosis Scenarios

The many different lymphoma prognosis scenarios possible can be frightening if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with lymphoma. There are over 35 different kinds of lymphomas: 30 non-Hodgkin's, and 5 Hodgkin's, which means that there are many possible outcomes to each of the many kinds of cancer.

Your prognosis will be determined by several factors:

  • Your general health
  • How far along the cancer has progressed
  • If the cancer has metastasized
  • If so, where and how far has it spread
  • What kinds of treatments are available for your particular type of lymphoma.

Your doctor will be the only person who can give you a realistic prognosis, so make sure you ask the questions that are concerning you.

To determine what your prognosis may be, you will need to gather information about the kind of lymphoma you have developed. You may wish to ask the following questions:

  • Do I have Hodgkin's or Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?: In most cases, people with Hodgkin's lymphoma have a better survival rate than those with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
  • How fast is the cancer growing? The terms used to describe this are indolent and aggressive. Indolent lymphoma is cancer where the cells are slow growing, which generally leads to a more optimistic prognosis. Aggressive lymphoma is cancer where the cells grow quickly and the cancer is more difficult to contain and defeat.
  • What impact will my age have on this disease? In general, the younger you are, the better chance you have at defeating lymphoma or at least holding it at bay.
  • What impact will my general health have on the lymphoma? Some health conditions exacerbate cancer or prohibit certain treatments; other health conditions do not inhibit treatments or the body's response to the cancer.
  • What stage lymphoma do I have? If you are in stages one or two, the disease will be limited to only one or two groups of lymph nodes. If you are in stages three or four, the cancer will have spread to either internal organs, bone marrow or the blood in general, making it much harder to contain and treat.
  • Do my specific symptoms indicate anything significant? If you are experiencing specific symptoms, your doctor may predict a worse prognosis than if you are asymptomatic.
  • What size are the cancer cells? In general, smaller cells indicate a better prognosis, whereas larger cells present a more difficult challenge.
  • Does it matter what my gender is? Yes. Women typically fare better than men.

Remember, only your doctor knows all the details and factors contributing to your unique prognosis. Ask your doctor for an explanation behind his prognosis, and ask for treatment options and possible outcomes.

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