Hodgkin lymphoma

You are here: 

Survival statistics for Hodgkin lymphoma

Survival statistics for Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) are very general estimates and must be interpreted very carefully. These statistics only tell you about outcomes for groups of people. They cannot be used to predict a particular person’s chances of survival.

There are many different ways to measure and report cancer survival statistics. Your doctor can explain the statistics for HL and what they mean to you.

Net survival

Net survival represents the probability of surviving cancer in the absence of other causes of death. It is used to give an estimate of the percentage of people who will survive their cancer.

In Canada, the 5-year net survival for Hodgkin lymphoma is 86%. This means that, on average, about 86% of people diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma will survive for at least 5 years.

Relative survival

Relative survival looks at how likely people with cancer are to survive after their diagnosis compared to people in the general population who do not have cancer, but who share similar characteristics (such as age and sex).

Survival by stage

Survival varies with each stage of HL. The following factors can also affect survival for HL.

  • Generally, the earlier HL is diagnosed and treated, the better the outcome.
  • Tumour bulk refers to the size of the cancer. Low tumour bulk means smaller tumours. Low tumour bulk results in a better outcome.
  • The absence of B symptoms results in a better outcome. (B symptoms are specific symptoms that affect the whole body.)
  • Overall, HL is very responsive to treatment.

Hodgkin lymphoma survival
Stage5-year relative survival

1

90%

2

90%

3

80%

4

65%

The International Prognostic Score (IPS) for advanced disease (stages 3 and 4) is based on 7 unfavourable (adverse) risk factors that are present at the time of diagnosis. These are based on the stage, age, sex, hemoglobin levels, albumin levels, white blood cell count and lymphyocyte count. Survival can vary with the number of these factors.

Hodgkin lymphoma survival
Number of adverse factors5-year overall survival

0

88%

1

84%

2

80%

3

74%

4

67%

5 or more

62%

Questions about survival

Talk to your doctor about your prognosis. A prognosis depends on many factors, including:

  • your health history
  • the type of cancer
  • the stage
  • certain characteristics of the cancer
  • the treatments chosen
  • how the cancer responds to treatment

Only a doctor familiar with these factors can put all of this information together with survival statistics to arrive at a prognosis.