Weak immune system: Having a weak immune system (from an inherited condition, HIV infection, or certain drugs) increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Certain infections: Having certain types of infections increases the risk of developing lymphoma. However, lymphoma is not contagious. You cannot "catch" lymphoma from another person.
The following are the main types of infection that can increase the risk of lymphoma:
Age: Although non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can occur in young people, the chance of developing this disease goes up with age. Most people with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma are older than 60.
Researchers are studying obesity and other possible risk factors for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. 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.
Most people who have known risk factors do not get non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. On the other hand, people who do get the disease often have no known risk factors. If you think you may be at risk, you should discuss this concern with your doctor.
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma Symptoms
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma can cause many symptoms:
Most often, these symptoms are not due to cancer. Infections or other health problems may also cause these symptoms. Anyone with symptoms that do not go away within 2 weeks should see a doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated.