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Cancer Genetics

Survival Rate of Elderly for Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma

07/02/2001

Question:

what is the survival rate of the elderly with treatment for NHL?

Answer:

The overall survival rate for individuals diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma (NHL) between 1989 and 1991 was 51%. More than 50% of individuals with NHL are beyond 60 years of age at diagnosis and are almost twice as likely to die than are those under age 60 at diagnosis.

There are several explanations for the poorer outcome in older individuals. 1) They are more likely to have toxicity to the chemotherapy. 2) They are more likely to relapse. 3) They also are more likely to die from cardiovascular disease and other non-lymphoma causes. These non-lymphoma health issues frequently limit the type of chemotherapy that can be used and further increase the likelihood of relapse.

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Response by:

Judith A Westman, MD Judith A Westman, MD
Associate Professor, Clinical Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Medical Biochemistry
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University