A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
It is possible to develop
with or without the risk factors listed below, but it is still important to be aware of risk factors. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.
Certain risk factors can not be changed. For example, non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in people over 60 years old. It is also more common in men.
Other factors that may increase the chance of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:
Exposures to certain chemicals or radiation may increase the risk of lymphoma.
People who work around pesticides, fertilizers, and certain chemical solvents have a greater chance of developing non-Hodgkins lymphoma than people who do not.
People who have survived nuclear accidents or explosions are also at an increased risk. Fallout from nuclear radiation stays in the environment for years. However, radiation exposure from medical and dental x-rays
is not associated with an increased risk.
People who have a parent with non-Hodgkins lymphoma may have an increased risk of developing it. This is especially true if the family member had lymphoma at an early age.
Smoking introduces a variety of harmful chemicals into the body that can affect the DNA of cells. The lymph also help carry the chemicals out of the body. The risk of lymphoma increases with the number of cigarettes smoked and years as a smoker.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. American Cancer Society website. Available at: http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/003126-pdf.pdf. Accessed March 30, 2016.
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
website. Available at:
http://www.lls.org/lymphoma/non-hodgkin-lymphoma. Accessed March 30, 2016.
Non-Hodgkin lymphomas. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/lymphomas/non-hodgkin-lymphomas. Updated October 2012. Accessed March 30, 2016.
Last reviewed March 2015 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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