Unfortunately, researchers cannot exactly pinpoint what causes lymphoma. They have however, identified risk factors for the disease.

In general, lymphoma can develop in anyone, whether or not you display some of the risk factors attributed to the disease. Though there are factors that have been found in people with lymphoma, having some or none of the factors does not determine that a person will or will not develop the cancer.

Risk Factors for Lymphoma

Age. Lymphoma can develop in both children and adults, but the majority of people diagnosed are usually are over the age of 60. Many cases where children have developed the disease is when they have a pre-existing immune system deficiency.

Weak immune system. Other illnesses or diseases, such as HIV/AIDS weakens the immune system and can make the body more susceptible to lymphoma.

Family history. While some patients with lymphoma claim to have family members also afflicted with the disease, there is no known evidence that lymphoma is hereditary. In some instances, conditions that affect the immune system may run in families, therefore increasing the chances of lymphoma developing within families.


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Infections Illnesses, such as HIV/AIDS, Epstein-Barr virus, Hepatitis C, and Helicobacter pylori are all factors that can increase the risk of developing lymphoma.

Studies are now being done to see if there is a relation to obesity and certain herbicides and chemicals and the development of lymphoma.

Radiation. People exposed to high levels of radiation such as survivors of nuclear reactor accidents and Atomic bombs are at an increased risk for developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. People also who had previous radiation therapy are also at a higher risk for lymphoma.

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