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- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) facts
- What is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What is the difference between non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease (or Hodgkin's lymphoma)?
- What causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk factors?
- What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma symptoms and signs?
- What kind of doctors treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- How do physicians diagnose non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What are the types of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and how is non-Hodgkin's lymphoma staging determined?
- What is the treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What is the prognosis and survival rate for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Is it possible to prevent non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- What is the latest research on non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
- Where can people find more information about non-Hodgkin's lymphoma?
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What are non-Hodgkin's lymphoma risk factors?
In many cases, people who develop NHL have no risk factors, and doctors seldom know why one person develops non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and another does not.
Certain risk factors increase the chance that a person will develop this disease although most people who have these risk factors will never develop the disease.
Medications that suppress the immune system: Using immunosuppressive agents (such as after an organ transplant) is a risk factor as it reduces the body's ability to fight infection.
Weakened immune system: The risk of developing lymphoma may be increased by having a weakened immune system.
Certain infections: Certain viral and bacterial infections increase the risk of NHL. Examples are HIV, hepatitis C virus, and Epstein-Barr virus. A type of bacteria sometimes linked to NHL is the ulcer-causing bacteria Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
Certain diseases: Having particular autoimmune diseases and/or type 2 diabetes increase one's risk of developing NHL.
Note: Lymphoma is not contagious. It's impossible to catch lymphoma from another person.
Age: Although non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can occur in young people, the chance of developing this disease increases with age. Most people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are older than 60 years of age.
Other possible links: People who work with herbicides or certain other chemicals may be at increased risk of this disease. Researchers are also looking at a possible link between using hair dyes before 1980 and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. None of these possible links have definitely been proven.
Note: Having one or more risk factors does not mean that a person will develop non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Most people who have risk factors never develop cancer.