In order to deal properly with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma we need to understand and — if possible — remove the underlying causes and risk factors. We need to ask: "What else is going on inside the body that might allow non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to develop?"
Accurate diagnosis of the factors behind non-Hodgkin's lymphoma consists of three steps:
|Weakened Immune System||16%||Unlikely|
|Cigarette Smoke Damage||3%||Ruled out|
|Epstein-Barr Virus||3%||Ruled out|
Have you suffered from Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma (NHL)?
Possible responses:→ No / don't know
→ Yes but now resolved for over 5 years
→ Yes but now resolved for under 5 years
→ Current problem but containable
→ Current problem and aggressive/spreading
People with HIV have a weakened immune system and, as a result, are more likely to develop certain cancers. Non-Hodgkin's Lymphomas are the second-most common type of malignancy after Kaposi's Sarcoma in HIV patients.
One study has found that, compared to men who had never smoked, men who had smoked had an elevated mortality rate for non-Hodgkin's, with a risk almost four-fold greater among the heaviest smokers.
People who suffer from the skin disease psoriasis are at an increased risk for cancer, according to a study ending in 2003 that involved 108,000 patients. Specifically, study authors found that patients with psoriasis had a nearly three-fold increased rate of lymphoma.
Previous research had found an association between psoriasis and lymphoma. Doctors from the University of Pennsylvania studied whether the rate of lymphoma in patients with a history of psoriasis is different from the rate of lymphoma in patients without psoriasis. After reviewing records, researchers found all the patients with psoriasis who had lymphoma were treated with medications consistent with psoriasis treatment.
While researchers conclude there is an association between psoriasis and lymphoma, they feel additional research needs to be done to determine if this association is related to psoriasis severity, psoriasis treatment or an interaction between these risk factors. [Archives of Dermatology, 2003;139: pp.1425-9]
Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma is more common among people with inherited immune deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, or HIV/AIDS, and among people taking immunosuppressant drugs following organ transplants.