Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Cancer risk

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Even if you have already been treated for cancer, reducing your risk factors may lower the chance of your cancer coming back.

You might also want to talk to your family members about reducing their cancer risk.

What are risk factors?

A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting cancer. 

Having a risk factor doesn't mean you will definitely develop cancer but it means you are more likely to get it than someone without the risk factor. For example, people who smoke cigarettes are much more likely to get lung cancer than those who don’t.

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors

It is not known what causes non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  However, there are some things that can increase the chance of getting it. These include:

  • age – the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma increases with age
  • sex – more males than females get non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • family history – people with a close relative (sibling, parent or child) who has non-Hodgkin lymphoma have a slightly increased risk of also developing it
  • previous cancer treatment
  • some viral infections, e.g. Epstein-Barr virus (glandular fever), hepatitis
  • exposure to some chemicals
  • having a weakened immune system.

Reducing your cancer risk

Improving your lifestyle is an important way to lower your chance of developing cancer. Taking care of yourself in this way can also have other positive effects on your health.

Things you can do include:

  • eating a healthy, well balanced diet
  • staying active and exercising regularly
  • don’t smoke
  • limiting how much alcohol you drink
  • maintaining a healthy weight
  • protecting your skin from too much sun.

Where to get help

There are people you can talk to for more information or support.

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