Prevention of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Summary

Hodgkin’s Lymphoma can be prevented to an extent by limiting the exposure to HIV and Epstein-Barr virus. The risk for Hodgkin lymphoma can also be reduced by quitting smoking and reducing exposure to pesticide and cancer causing chemicals.

Introduction of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Hodgkin lymphoma prevention is difficult because the cause of lymphoma is not always clear. Some known risk factors for Hodgkin’s lymphoma (HL) can be changed, most cases are not preventable at this time.

Viral infection

Virus causing HIV/AIDS, increase the risk for Hodgkin lymphoma. One way to limit the exposure is to avoid known risk factors for HIV, such as using intravenous (IV) medications or having unprotected sex with multiple partners. Hodgkin lymphoma can be prevented if one is totally informed about HIV/AIDS and cancer.

Another risk factor for HL is infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (causing mononucleosis or a single infection), but there is no known way to prevent this infection​1​.

Most factors associated with an increased risk of HL, such as family history or ethnicity, are also unavoidable. However, since lymphoma begins in the lymphatic system, factors that weaken the immune system may play a role in the pathogenesis of lymphoma. To maintain a strong immune system:

Quit smoking

Smokers take longer to fight off infection and heal wounds. Quitting smoking is an important step in preventing Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers. The sooner one quits smoking, the faster the body can recover. Talk to the doctor about options that will help to quit smoking successfully.

Manage exposures of Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Pesticides and formaldehyde are common exposures that can lead to increased cancer risk. Formaldehyde is a by-product of natural gas, wood, oil, and tobacco combustion. It is also used in various household items such as paint, foam insulation, or wallpaper. Directions for proper and safe use of these products should be followed, and direct contact needs to be avoided. This may include wearing a mask, goggles, gloves, and protective clothing. Using adequate ventilation can also help reduce the risk​2​.

References

  1. 1.
    Can Hodgkin Lymphoma Be Prevented? American Cancer Society. Published 2018. Accessed March 2022. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/causes-risks-prevention/prevention.html#written_by
  2. 2.
    Health Library-Reducing Your Risk of Hodgkin Lymphoma. Winchester Hospital. Published 2021. Accessed March 2022. https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=19593