Causes and prevention of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL)

The exact cause of Hodgkin lymphoma is not known. It cannot be passed onto other people and it is not an inherited cancer.
However some people have a higher chance of developing it:

  • Age and gender: Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in men than women. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in young people between the ages of 15 and 30 years.
  • Lowered immunity: Anyone whose immune system is not working properly has a higher chance of getting Hodgkin lymphoma. This might be due to taking drugs following an organ transplant to prevent rejection, if you are born with an immune condition, or if you develop an autoimmune condition e.g. rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Viruses:
  • Family history: Brothers and sisters of a person with Hodgkin lymphoma, especially an identical twin might have a higher risk of developing it.

Call our National Cancer Helpline

Freephone 1800 200 700 to talk to a specialist cancer nurse
It's open Monday-Thursday from 9am to 7pm and Friday from 9am to 5pm