A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute has identified the risk factors for non-Hodgkin lymphoma in early life. The study followed over 3.5 million people born in Sweden between 1973–2008 and categorised those who had developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The large-scale research study found that genetics and conditions in the womb whilst developing were the strongest contributing factors to non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adolescents. The key risk factors for lymphoma were a family history of the disease and being born to an older mother. The researchers also found that most cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma below the age of 15 years were present in males.
Whilst diagnoses of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in adults have been stabilising since the 1990s, incidences amongst children, adolescents and young adults have been increasing. Around 10,000 people are diagnosed with the condition in the UK and it is the most common type of lymphoma in the country making up approximately 80% of cancers of the lymphatic system.
If you are worried about a family history of lymphoma and would like to know what tests can be conducted read ‘Diagnosing and treating non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphomas’ by Consultant Clinical Oncologist, Professor Tim Illidge.