Study identifies causes of lymphoma in children

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.

Special proteins in the blood that are produced in response to a specific antigen and play a key role in immunity and allergy. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
Relating to the genes, the basic units of genetic material. Full medical glossary
The number of new episodes of a condition arising in a certain group of people over a specified period of time. Full medical glossary
A watery or milky bodily fluid containing lymphocytes, proteins and fats. Lymph accumulates outside the blood vessels in the intercellular spaces of the body tiisues and is collected by the vessels of the lymphatic system. Full medical glossary
Vessels that carry lymphatic fluid, a fluid derived from the blood. Full medical glossary
A type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes, part of the immune system. Full medical glossary
The uterus. Full medical glossary