Lymphoma Risk Factors

Lymphoma risk factors are those behaviors or conditions that researchers have linked to the development of the condition. Risk factors are merely suggestive of the possibility of developing lymphoma – there is no guarantee that a person will or will not develop a tumor. Some lymphoma patients have no known risk factors, and some individuals with many risk factors never develop the condition. As of yet, researchers remain unclear on the precise trigger that causes cells in the body to divide and multiply, forming tumors.

For adult Hodgkin lymphoma, statistics tend to indicate that men in young or late adulthood are more likely to develop the condition. Having contracted the Epstein-Barr virus, or having a close relative such as a parent or sibling who has had Hodgkin lymphoma, also elevates one’s risk of developing lymphoma.

  • Adult non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors include:
  • Being older, white and/or male
  • Having one or more of the following conditions: inherited immune disorders like hypogammaglobulinemia or Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome; autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, Sjögren’s syndrome or HIV/AIDS; a human T-lymphotrophic virus (type I) or Epstein-Barr virus; or a history of Heliobacter pylori infection
  • Taking immunosuppressant drugs after an organ transplant
  • Exposure to certain pesticides
  • A diet high in meats and fat
  • Past treatment for Hodgkin lymphoma

The multispecialty lymphoma team within Moffitt Cancer Center’s Malignant Hematology Program are working every day to further their understanding of how various risk factors can contribute to the development of lymphoma and, ultimately, how to eradicate the condition. Our team works closely with every patient under our care, designing an individualized plan for treatment and continually monitoring each patient’s progress. Our patients have access to every treatment imaginable to help them overcome lymphoma, including remarkable new therapies that are available through our robust clinical trials program.

For more information on lymphoma risk factors, or to speak with one of our oncologists specializing in lymphoma about any other aspect of the condition, call Moffitt Cancer Center at 1-888-MOFFITT or fill out our online patient registration form. No referral is required.