B-cell lymphoma is one of the two primary types of Non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Lymphoma is known to affect major sites of lymph tissue in the body, specifically the lymph nodes, spleen, bone marrow, thymus, adenoids, tonsils, and the digestive tract. B-cell lymphoma mainly affects the white blood cells (lymphocytes) crippling the immune system, making the body severely vulnerable to imminent external threats. A weakened immune system is a result of the rapid destruction of B-cells that are responsible for making antibodies to help the body fight infections and virus attacks.
There are no known causes of B-cell lymphoma; however, researchers attribute certain triggers including changes in the genes and the immune system that cause cancer cells to develop. People who have specific immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, or those who suffer from chronic infections are at a higher risk of developing B-cell lymphoma.
Note that factors like age, gender, family history, exposure to elements, the immune system, and overall lifestyle influence the survival rate during and after treatment. B-cell lymphoma survival rates also vary depending on the various stages of the condition. Scientists estimate a 5-year survival rate for people suffering from Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. However, there have been cases that show better chances of survival depending on the severity of the condition.
Survival estimates are based on previous outcomes of people who have suffered from the condition. It is also difficult to isolate estimates for a single patient because of the limitations with respect to statistics and data available for reference.
There are two primary prognostic indexes that help doctors determine the outlook for people suffering from NHL.
International Prognostic Index (IPI)
Doctors can make use of the International Prognostic Index (IPI) to determine an estimate for B-cell lymphoma survival among common types of lymphoma. The index takes into account the patient’s age, stage of lymphoma, cancer location, performance status of the patient, and blood serum level indicating the amount of lymphoma in the system. A revised IPI has also been launched in recent years helping doctors conclude a better prognosis for various risk categories.
Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI)
Doctors rely on the Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) to determine follicular lymphomas with a different prognostic approach and estimate the survival rate. The FLIPI also provides varied estimates for a 2-year, 5-year, and even 10-year survival, depending on the number of people in various risk groups for the said duration.
Patients are assigned prognostic points to further categorize them and determine B-cell lymphoma survival rates with better accuracy. The prognostic points classify patients into different risk categories that help doctors estimate the percentage of survivors in every risk category to help draw conclusions from the statistics.