Lymphomas, including PTCLs, are divided according to how fast they grow: "indolent lymphomas" grow slowly and "aggressive lymphomas" grow quickly. When doctors describe lymphoma, they will often use these terms.
The Ann Arbor system is commonly used to identify a cancer’s stage (the degree to which a cancer has spread). Knowing what stage your disease is will help you and your healthcare team plan for your future and determine the right treatment for you.
- Stage I - disease in single lymph node or lymph node region.
Stage II - disease in two or more lymph node regions on same side of diaphragm.
- Note: Stage II contiguous means two or more lymph nodes in close proximity (side by side).
- Stage III - disease in lymph node regions on both sides of the diaphragm are affected.
- Stage IV - disease is wide spread, including multiple involvements at one or more extranodal (beyond the lymph node) sites, such as the bone marrow.
The aggressive PTCL subtypes are more likely to present with late stage disease. Prognosis is typically poor with 25 percent to 40 percent of patients surviving for five years from diagnosis.