Lymphoma is a form of cancer that is responsible for affecting lymphocytes. There are two main forms of lymphoma. The first is non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which is the most common type. The second type is Hodgkin lymphoma, which is rarer. In lymphoma, the lymphocyte cells grow uncontrollably. Let us learn about the risk factors for lymphoma.
Risk factors for Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The risk factors for Hodgkin’s lymphoma are as follows:
Studies have shown that Hodgkin’s lymphoma can affect a person anywhere between the ages of 20 and 40. However, some people may develop this form of cancer in old age too.
- Herbicide exposure
Certain war veterans exposed to Agent Orange have been known to be at an increased risk of developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This risk was much evident in those soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
- Family medical history
People who have a family medical history of Hodgkin’s lymphoma are at an increased risk of getting the same disease themselves.
- Low immunity
Patients who have a weak immune system are at a higher risk of developing Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Risk factors for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
The risk factors for Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are as follows:
Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma generally affects senior citizens who are above the age of 60 years. This is what contrasts it with people who suffer from Hodgkin’s lymphoma, who suffer from the disease much earlier in life in their 20s.
- Herbicide exposure
Those who have been to war have generally been exposed to the herbicide. This has proven to be very harmful to the soldier, as herbicide exposure has been known to increase the risk of suffering from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Other viral infections
Epstein-Barr virus is known to trigger certain types of cancer in particular lymphoma. Apart from this virus, being infected with HIV also increases the person’s chances of developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Cancer treatment
Certain studies also indicate that receiving treatment for other types of cancer can put a person at an increased risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is particularly true if the person receives chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
- Exposure to radiation
It is a well-known fact that we should be careful about exposing ourselves to radiation. This is because this can have harmful effects on our health. Also, exposure to radiation can increase the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin’s disease.
So, these were the risk factors for lymphoma. Lymphoma is a type of cancer that is very treatable if diagnosed early. Therefore, if a patient notices that they have any risk factors, they should regularly go to their doctors for an annual health screening. Do note that having the risk factor does not necessarily mean that you will have lymphoma. However, it is always advisable to be on the safer side. Treatment for lymphoma involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, as well as medication.