Is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Curable?
Lymphoma is the cancer of lymphatic system and the advanced stages of lymphoma also involves the organs outside the lymphatic system. Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by the presence of the Reed-Sternberg cell which differentiates it from the Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a curable cancer and has the high survival rate. The survival rate depends upon the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, age of the patient and the response of the patient to treatment.
Is Hodgkin's Lymphoma Curable?
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is curable and is curable even in its advanced stage. The advanced stage of the lymphoma is defined as the metastasis of the cancer form the lymphatic system to another organ/s. With the high-end treatment options available and the diagnosis of the disease done in early stages due to sophisticated diagnostic techniques, the survival rate of lymphoma is higher when compare to other deadly cancers. The 1-year survival rate of lymphoma is approximately 92% while the 5-year survival rate is approximately 85%, listing it in the cancer list with high survival rate. The complete cure of the disease depends upon the stage at which the disease is diagnosed, spread of the disease and the response of patient towards treatment. The lymphoma diagnosed at advanced stage requires aggressive treatment with high relapse rate. Following are the various treatment options available for the complete cure of the disease:
- Chemotherapy: This is by far the most effective method of treating Hodgkin’s lymphoma as it works through systemic circulation and is able to kill the cancer that lies deep in the organs. There are certain side effects due to the chemotherapeutic drugs such as disappearance of hair and severe acidity. These side effects are experienced even more when the drug is not specific to the cancerous cells and also damages normal cells. Various chemotherapeutic drugs are given in combination so as to maximize the efficacy of treatment with lesser side effects. The advanced stage lymphoma required aggressive treatment which also requires the combination of other treatment options along with chemotherapy.
Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy is the method of killing the Hodgkin’s Lymphoma causing cells with the help of radiation. Radiotherapy is often used with the chemotherapy to remove the cancer cells as early as possible. More advanced the tumor, more radiation dose is required. Increased radiation on mediastinal region may lead to treatment related complications. Some patients require single sitting while the other may require multiple sittings.
- Steroidal Therapy: Steroids are also used in the management of lymphoma. The steroids used in Hodgkin’s Lymphoma include dexamethasone, prednisolone and prednisone. Steroids increases the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs and are thus used as an adjuvant. Also, the steroids also reduce the side effects of chemotherapy.
- Immunotherapy: Immune system is the primary defense mechanism that tries to keep a check on cancer cells. However, in immunocompromised condition or evasion of cancer cell from immune system lead to development of cancer. Immunotherapy increases the efficacy of immune system for fighting against the cancer and also the immunotherapeutic drugs kills cancer cells by them-selves.
Antibody Therapy: Antibodies are administered in the Hodgkin’s lymphoma patient in order to increase the efficacy of immune system. They are used in combination with chemotherapy.
- Stem cell transplant: Due to the chemotherapy and other aggressive treatments for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, bone marrow of the body gets damaged and the immune system is severely compromised, thus stem cell transplant is done to make new cells.
- Surgery: Surgery for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is required when the tumor is large enough and complete removal is required. Surgery is also an effective method to treat the cancer.
Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is completely curable and has a high survival rate. 1-year survival rate is 92% while the 5-year survival rate is 80%. If the disease is diagnosed in early stage, then it has very high cure rate with less chances of relapse. With the modern treatment strategies and the combine treatment approach, the oncologists are expert in designing the perfect treatment for patients on case-to-case basis with higher efficacy and minimum side effects.
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