The cause of lymphoma is not always clear, so prevention is difficult to determine. Most factors that are associated with an increased risk of Hodgkin lymphoma, such as family history or ethnicity, are also not preventable. However, because lymphoma starts in the lymph system, factors that weaken the immune system can play a role in the development of lymphoma. To keep a strong immune system:
- Quit smoking —For people who smoke, it takes the body longer to fight infections and heal wounds. Quitting smoking is an important step in preventing Hodgkin lymphoma and other cancers. The sooner smoking is stopped, the sooner the body can start to heal. Talk to your doctor about the options available to help you successfully quit.
- Manage exposures —Pesticides and formaldehyde are common exposures. Formaldehyde is a by-product of burning natural gas, oil, wood, and tobacco. It is also used in a variety of household products, such as foam insulation, wallpaper, or paint. Follow instructions carefully and avoid direct contact. This may include wearing a mask, gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Using proper ventilation can also help reduce your exposure.
Can Hodgkin lymphoma be prevented? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html. Updated March 29, 2017. Accessed March 30, 2018.
Formaldehyde in your home. Minnesota Department of Health website. Available at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/voc/formaldehyde.htm. Accessed March 30, 2018.
Hodgkin lymphoma. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/lymphomas/hodgkin-lymphoma. Updated October 2012. Accessed March 30, 2018.
Hodgkin lymphoma (HL). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114957/Hodgkin-lymphoma-HL. Updated November 22, 2017. Accessed March 30, 2018.
Pesticides: Safe and effective use in the home and landscape. University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources website. Available at: http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn74126.html. Accessed March 30, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP Last Updated: 3/7/2016