Risk Factors

For most people who have NHL, there are no obvious reasons why they developed the disease.

Some research has suggested that NHL may be associated with exposure to certain bacteria and viruses, especially those that suppress the immune system, such as:

  • Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)
  • Epstein-Barr virus
  • Human T-lymphocytotropic virus (HTLV)
  • Helicobacter pylori (the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers)
  • You can’t catch NHL from someone else.

There are about a dozen inherited – but rare syndromes that may increase NHL risk.

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