The life expectancy of patients with Stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma depends on the type of lymphoma. Some are slow-growing, while others are aggressive. Early diagnosis and treatment greatly increase life expectancy.
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is attributed a level of Stage 1 through Stage 4 using the Ann Arbor staging system. According to the American Cancer Society, Stage 3 indicates that the lymphoma is in the lymph nodes on both sides of the diaphragm.
In Stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, the cancer may have spread outside the lymph nodes to a nearby area or organ. Other factors, such as more than 10 percent unexplained weight loss or night sweats, add to the prognostic criteria.
The University of Maryland Medical Center states that the life expectancy for patients under age 45 has greatly improved since the 1990s. New treatment options show improvement even with aggressive non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.
According to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the five-year survival rate for non-Hodgkins lymphoma patients has increased from 31 percent in the 1960s to about 69 percent in 2005. Advancements in stem cell transplantation and new drugs may improve life expectancy even more.
Discuss specific criteria for life expectancy of Stage 3 non-Hodgkins lymphoma with your doctor. This includes age, general health and level of activities.