Causes and Diagnoses
Causes and Diagnoses of LymphomaThe exact cause of lymphoma is unknown, but certain factors can increase your risk of developing lymphoma, including:
Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors
- Gender: Men are more likely to be diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma than women.
- Age: Hodgkin lymphoma occurs most often in young adulthood as well as after age 55.
- Family history: A sibling with lymphoma may increase your risk.
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection: EBV is the virus that causes mononucleosis ("mono"). Having had this virus may slightly increase your risk of lymphoma.
- HIV infection: HIV can weaken the immune system, which may increase the risk of certain cancers, like lymphoma.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma risk factors
- Gender: Men are more likely to be diagnosed.
- Older age
- Autoimmune diseases
- Immune system deficiencies
- HIV infection
- Hepatitis C infection
- Human T-cell leukemia/lymphoma virus infection
- Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, the virus that causes mononucleosis
- Radiation exposure
- Chemical exposure to herbicides and benzene
- Organ transplantation
- H. pylori stomach infection
Diagnostic tests vary depending on the type of blood and lymph cancer your physician is trying to rule out. Diagnostic tests may include:
- Blood tests
- Bone marrow aspiration and biopsy
- Lumbar puncture to collect spinal fluid
- Lymph node biopsy
- Lymph node removal
A diagnosis of lymphoma can only be verified by viewing cancer cells under a microscope. Once the diagnosis is made, your physician may need to assess the stage of the cancer using additional diagnostic testing, including: