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Can I Be Cured of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

It’s normal to worry about what lymphoma will mean for you and your family. You may have questions such as these: What are my chances of being cured? How long will I live? The answers to these questions are called your prognosis. This is the likely outcome, or course, of your lymphoma. Your doctor looks at some of these outcomes when making your prognosis.

  • Your chance of being cured from lymphoma

  • Your chance of having the lymphoma come back, called recurrence

  • Your chance of dying from the lymphoma 

To make your prognosis, your doctor will use these facts.

  • The typical outcome for people with lymphoma. These are called non-Hodgkin lymphoma statistics. (The average outcome for all types of lymphoma is not as helpful as with some cancers. That’s because there are so many different types of lymphoma with different outcomes.)

  • Your doctor’s experiences with other people who have your type of lymphoma.

  • Your own case. Your doctor looks specifically at the type and stage of your lymphoma. Your doctor also considers your age and general health.

Ask your doctor to help you understand what the statistics may mean for you. Keep in mind that even your doctor cannot tell you exactly what will happen to you.

Some people are less frightened when they learn about their prognosis. Some use this information to help them make decisions about tests or treatments. For others, a prognosis is confusing, scary, and too impersonal to be of use. It’s your choice about how much information to accept and how to deal with it.

It makes some sense to plan for the worst when you’re facing a disease that can be deadly. Still, you should not allow statistics or a prognosis to dictate your future. People have survived every stage of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. People have outlived their doctor’s predictions. Your prognosis gives a perspective, but it is not etched in stone. Try to focus your thoughts on the people who have survived lymphoma. You may be one of them.