Life expectancy for a lymph node cancer patient depends on the patient's age, early detection, whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and other factors, states American Cancer Society. Patients under 60 who begin treatment early usually have a 5-year survival rate of over 90 percent.
The medical term for cancer of the lymph nodes is lymphoma, of which there are two types: Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. For both cancers, the factors that determine a patient's life expectancy are age, the stage of cancer upon beginning treatment, whether the cancer has spread within the body, whether the patient can function normally and whether the patient has tissue damage, measured by serum LDH. These are known as prognostic factors.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients with one or less poor prognostic factors have a 91 percent 5-year survival rate and a 71 percent 10-year survival rate. Patients with two poor prognostic factors have a 78 percent 5-year survival rate and a 51 percent 10-year survival rate. Patients with three or more poor prognostic factors have a 53 percent 5-year survival rate and a 36 percent 10-year survival rate.
For Hodgkin's lymphoma, the numbers are more optimistic. Even patients whose cancer has reached stage four have a 65 percent 5-year survival rate across the board, with that number increasing to 80 percent for stage three and 90 percent for stages two and one.