One of the first things on the minds of patients diagnosed with cancer may be what their prognosis could be. Thanks to expanding research and targeted cancer treatments, the prognoses for lymphoma patients are improving.\nWhat Is Lymphoma?\nHodgkin’s lymphoma is a cancer of the cells in the immune system called lymphocytes.\nThere are two types of lymphoma:\n\nHodgkin’s lymphoma, also called Hodgkin’s disease\nNon-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL)\n\nLymphomas are the most common form of cancer in teens ages 15 to 19. Every patient’s prognosis is different, but Hodgkins disease, for the most part, can be treated and managed.\nHodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survival Rates\nHodgkin’s disease is considered one of the most treatable forms of cancer if found early. For NHL, the overall five and 10 year relative survival rates are 69 percent and 59 percent, respectively. For Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the survival rates are usually improved as the five year survival rate is 85 percent and a 10 year survival rate of 80 percent. There are many factors that influence prognosis and survival rate which can include:\n\nAge-\u00a0Being under 60 can\u00a0improve your prognosis as you are more likely to fight off disease.\nStage of disease–\u00a0Stage I or II can offer good prognosis, though later stages may be highly treatable as well.\nNo lymphoma outside of lymph nodes, or lymphoma in only one area outside of lymph nodes.\nPerformance status-Ability to function normally; ranked on a scale of zero to 100 (100 meaning you are at normal health).\nSerum LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) is high instead of normal. The LDH enzyme is usually released when cells are damaged or destroyed.\nLymphoma Staging\nLymphoma staging is identifying where the disease is located and the potential areas of your body it may have spread to. Diagnostic testing is used to detect the cancer\u2019s stage, which helps the doctor determine an appropriate course of treatment.\nStage I\n\nStage I\u2014The cancer has been detected in one lymph node region\nStage IE\u2014The cancer has invaded 1 organ outside of the lymphatic system, but not any lymph node regions\n\nStage II\n\nStage II\u2014The cancer is in 2 or more areas on the same side of the diaphragm\nStage IIE\u2014The cancer is affecting 1 organ and surrounding lymph nodes on the same side of the diaphragm\n\nStages III and IV\n\nStage III\u2014Lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm are cancerous\nStage IV\u2014The cancer has spread throughout the body. Common areas include: liver, lungs, and bone marrow.\n\nProgressive\n\nOccurs when the cancer grows or spreads while being treated for the original lymphoma.\n\nRecurrent\n\nWhen lymphoma returns after previously being treated, either in its original location or in a new area of the body.\nRecurrence can occur shortly after treatment or years later.\nRe-staging may be necessary in the event of a recurrence.\n\n\n\nLymphoma Risk Factors\nMost of the risk factors that contribute to lymphoma are unknown. However, some studies have found that certain factors are associated with a raised risk of the disease, including:\n\nSerum LDH (lactate dehydrogenase) is high instead of normal. The LDH enzyme is usually released when cells are damaged or destroyed.\nAge – Studies have shown that Hodgkin’s lymphoma primarily occurs in people ages 15 to 35 and people over 55. Adults over 60 usually are more at risk for Hodgkin’s lymphoma because of lower immune function.\nViruses \u2013 Carrying viruses such as Epstein-Barr or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been found to increase the risk of developing lymphoma.\n\nIt is also possible that other factors, such as workplace exposure to certain substances (herbicides, insecticides, or wood dust), or obesity may increase the risk of lymphoma. However, these associations are still being studied by researchers and may or may not be risk factors.\nInternational Prognostic Index for Lymphoma\nThe International Prognostic Index for Lymphoma was developed by oncologists as a tool for predicting the prognosis of patients with more aggressive cases of non-Hodgkin\u2019s lymphoma.\nHodgkin’s Lymphoma and Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms\nSymptoms of non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin’s lymphomas are similar. Symptoms are not immediately obvious and may be mistaken for a severe cold or flu. Common symptoms include:\n\nFever\nCoughing, trouble breathing, or chest pain\nSoaking night sweats\nUnexplained weight loss\nSwollen, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin\nWeakness and tiredness that doesn’t go away\n\nLymphoma Treatment Options\nTreatment options for lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma are usually similar to other types of cancer treatment. Although the types may be similar, your specific treatment plan may vary greatly depending on what your doctor recommends. Treatments can include one or more of the following:\n\nRadiation therapy\nChemotherapy\nTargeted therapy\nStem cell transplant\nImmunotherapy\n\nTo learn more about the treatment options of lymphoma or to schedule an appointment, visit the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center website or call 412-647-2811.