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People with Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) may have questions about their prognosis and survival. Prognosis and survival depend on many factors. Only a doctor familiar with a person’s medical history, type of cancer, stage, characteristics of the cancer, treatments chosen and response to treatment can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.
A prognosis is the doctor’s best estimate of how cancer will affect a person, and how it will respond to treatment. A prognostic factor is an aspect of the cancer or a characteristic of the person that the doctor will consider when making a prognosis. A predictive factor influences how a cancer will respond to a certain treatment. Prognostic and predictive factors are often discussed together, and they both play a part in deciding on a treatment plan and a prognosis.
The stage of HL is an important factor in determining prognosis and planning treatment. However, because the extent of the disease may vary considerably within each stage, risk factors (also called adverse prognostic factors) have been identified for limited or early HL (stage I and II) and advanced HL (stage III and IV).
Stage I and II HL are divided into favourable and unfavourable groups based on prognostic factors.
Early favourable HL means that no factors listed below are present.
Early unfavourable HL means that one or more of the following factors are present:
The International Prognostic Factors Project (IPFP) has developed an international prognostic score (IPS) based on 7 adverse factors for advanced (stage III and IV) HL. The factors that are present are combined to give a single score between 0 and 7.
Advanced favourable HL means that 0 to 3 factors listed below are present.
Advanced unfavourable HL means that 4 or more of the following factors are present:
Seeing my sister Erin – a young mother – struggle with the emotional blow and then the physical toll of cancer treatment made me want to do something to help women feel confident.
Thousands of Canadian Cancer Society volunteers work in regional cancer centres, lodges and community hospitals to support people receiving treatment.