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Hodgkins Disease

Causes & Risk Factors

Scientists at hospitals and medical centers all across the country are studying Hodgkin's disease risk factors. They are trying to learn more about what causes the disease and more effective methods to treat Hodgkin's disease.

At this time, the cause or causes of Hodgkin's disease are not known, and doctors can seldom explain why one person gets this disease and another does not. It is clear, however, that Hodgkin's disease is not caused by an injury, and it is not contagious; no one can "catch" this disease from another person.

By studying patterns of cancer in the population, researchers have found certain risk factors that are more common in people who get Hodgkin's disease than in those who do not. However, most people with these risk factors do not get Hodgkin's disease, and many who do get Hodgkin's disease have none of the known risk factors.

The following are some of the Hodgkin’s disease risk factors:

  • Age/Sex -- Hodgkin's disease occurs most often in people between 15 and 34 and in people over the age of 55. It is more common in men than in women.

  • Family History -- Brothers and sisters of those with Hodgkin's disease have a higher-than-average chance of developing this disease.

  • Viruses -- Epstein-Barr virus is an infectious agent that may be associated with an increased chance of getting Hodgkin's disease.

People who are concerned about the chance of developing Hodgkin's disease should talk with their doctor about the disease, the symptoms to watch for, and an appropriate schedule for checkups. The doctor's advice will be based on the person's age, medical history, and other factors.

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