By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
Hodgkin’s lymphoma is one of the most curable forms of cancer, with 1-year, 5-year and 10-year survival rates of around 90%, 85% and 80%, respectively.
Treatments for the condition have been developed and improved over the last few decades and the most recent trials of chemotherapy agents have led to the highest survival rates yet. In one European trial, patients with a favorable outlook had a 5-year survival rate of 98% and even among those with a more negative prognosis, the rate was 85%.
Several factors are taken into consideration when determining the prognosis for a patient with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Some of these include:
- General health and ability to withstand chemotherapy and the potential side effects
- Subtype of Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Stage of the cancer
- How aggressive the cancer is
Studies have shown that a worse outcome can be predicted in the presence of the following factors:
- Male gender
- Age at diagnosis of 45 years or older
- Mixed cellularity subtype
- Lymphocyte depleted subtype
- Stage IV disease
- Lymphocyte count of less than 8%
- Hemoglobin level below 10.5 g/dL
- Albumin level below 4.0 g/dL
- White blood cell count of 15,000/μl or more
- A raised erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Large number of lymph node groups involved
Survival rates are usually calculated as set periods of time (such as 5 years or 10 years) for which a person lives after the cancer has been diagnosed. Although this gives a general idea of the outcomes associated with treatment, the actual outcome can still vary from person to person depending on several factors.
Survival usually depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed and treatment is initiated. Overall, the five-year survival rate among people with Hodgkin’s lymphoma is 85% and most of these people will be cured of the condition. However, the treatment can cause long-term complications such as infertility and patients are also at an increased risk of developing another form of cancer in the future.
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Aug 19, 2014