Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is highly curable. The survival rate of the patients calculated at 5-year is approximately 70%. Early diagnosis with the highly advanced diagnostic procedures increases the chances of survival. Continuous research in the development of medicines also boosts confidence in the oncologists; increases cure rate and a reduction in relapse.
What Is The Survival Rate Of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
The survival rate of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma depends upon the stages and sub-stages at which the disease is diagnosed. Further, it also depends upon the type of diagnostic technology used for the diagnosis. The highly sophisticated technology identifies the cancer by analyzing the presence of tumor in each and every organ so that a strategy can be developed by the oncologist for treatment. The survival rate also depends upon the age of the patient and the type of organ affected i.e. whether bone marrow or lungs or cerebrospinal fluid or spleen. The International Prognostic Index defines five factors that determine the prognosis of the lymphoma. These factors include age of the patient, stage of the disease, extent if an extra nodal organ, patient’s performance status and blood serum level of lactate dehydrogenase. There is a poor prognosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and a low survival rate when the patient is above 60 years, the diagnosed stage is III or IV and the cancer is spread to other extranodal organs. The overall 5-year survival rate of the patients with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma is 70-72%. It greatly depends upon the response of the treatment and the cancer relapse.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Diagnosis
Diagnosis of lymphoma is the most important factor which decides the fate of the patient and the prognosis of the disease. Various methods are used in diagnosing the condition and a combination of various methods are generally used by the oncologist in determining the type, stage and extent of lymphoma. The lymphoma can be diagnosed through various techniques such as physical examination, blood tests, biopsy and imaging techniques.
Physical Examination: The will of patient, for consulting with the physician, regarding any slightest symptoms, is the key to early identification of lymphoma. The physicians, after examining the patients with the symptoms such as enlarged lymph nodes, weight loss, fever and night sweats. After being convinced that these may be the symptoms of cancer and no other reason has been found, the physician refers the patient to oncologist for further diagnosis.
Blood Tests: Blood tests provide an important clue regarding the presence of lymphoma. In some cases, the blood tests provide the preliminary results while in other cases the blood tests have confirmatory findings. The complete cell count and flow cytometry provides the preliminary results while the cytology and karyology of the cells confirms the presence of lymphoma on the basis of structural abnormalities in the cells.
Biopsy: Biopsy is said be one of the most important process for diagnosing any type of cancer. The tissue is taken from the affected lymph node or lymphatic organ or extranodal organ and is evaluated under the microscope. There are various types of biopsies. If the whole of the tumor is removed, then it is known as incisional biopsy while removal of a part of the tumor is termed as excisional biopsy. The biopsy can also be done through needle. The needle is inserted in the affected organ and the tissue is withdrawn.
Imaging Techniques: Various imaging techniques are used as non-invasive process for diagnosing lymphoma, and the extent of its spread in other organs. The techniques used are Chest X-ray, Computed Tomography scan, Positron Emission Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
The diagnosis is done through combining various methods in succession or simultaneously to accurately diagnose the presence of the disease.
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is characterized by the absence of Reed-Sternberg cells which are the special type of abnormal cells found in Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Lymphoma at any stage is curable and it is one of those cancers which have a high survival rate. The overall survival rate is 70% however, even at the advanced stage the survival rate is above 50%. Early diagnosis along with proper treatment determines the prognosis of disease.