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What is my chance of being cured?

BMJ Group Medical Reference

Some things can affect how well treatments will work on your non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. However, everyone's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is different. You can still be cured even if you have some or all of the following features.

Things that affect how well treatment works

No one can be sure how these features will affect you. We've included them here just to give you a rough estimate of your chance of beating lymphoma. [15]

  • Age: In general, people who are under 60 do better than people who are over 60.

  • Health and fitness: People who are healthy and active do better than those who are ill or disabled.

  • Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH): This is a protein made by your body. It can also be made by lymphoma cells. If you have a high level of LDH in your blood, it can mean your treatment is not working well.

  • Stage: The stage of your lymphoma tells you how far the cancer has spread. People whose lymphoma has not spread at all, or not spread far, usually do better than people whose lymphoma has spread further. There are four stages of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Stage 1 is the earliest and stage 4 is the most advanced. See Stages of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma for more.

  • Where your lymphoma is: In general, you are more likely to be cured if you have non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in your lymph nodes rather than in other places such as your gut, breast, bone, bone marrow, or lungs.

How your cancer scores

Your cancer specialist may give you a score based on five things. This is to help plan your treatment. The score can also help to predict how you will respond to treatments. You get one point each for:

  • Being over 60

  • Being in very poor health before you got non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Having high levels of lactate dehydrogenase in your blood

  • Having stage 3 or stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma

  • Having non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in two or more places outside your lymphatic system.

You get a score between 0 and 5. People with lower scores are more likely than people with higher scores to get completely better after treatment.

If you want to find out more about how long people live with different scores, see Survival rates for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. But please remember when you look at this page that statistics can't tell you what will happen to you as an individual. Everyone is different.

Scientists are working on new treatments for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma all the time. You might be interested in helping to test a new treatment by taking part in a clinical trial. See Taking part in research for more.


lymphatic system

The lymphatic system is your body's way of clearing unwanted materials from your blood and tissues. It includes a network of lymph nodes that filter these materials to detect if there is an infection that needs to be dealt with by your immune system.

For more terms related to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma


For references related to Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma click here.
Last Updated: August 06, 2013
This information does not replace medical advice.  If you are concerned you might have a medical problem please ask your Boots pharmacy team in your local Boots store, or see your doctor.

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