LymphomaLymphoma Causes

Let's Talk About the Causes of Lymphoma

This type of cancer can be notoriously tricky to predict or even to determine who is at risk. Here’s what experts say may play a role in causing the disease.

    Our Pro PanelLymphoma Causes

    We went to some of the nation’s top experts in lymphoma to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Faisal Saghir, M.D. headshot.

    Faisal Saghir, M.D.Hematologist and Medical Oncologist

    Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital
    DeKalb, IL
    Dhimant Patel, M.D.

    Dhimant Patel, M.D.Hematologist and Oncologist

    Aurora BayCare Medical Center
    Green Bay, WI
    Myo Htut, M.D. headshot.

    Myo Htut, M.D.Associate Clinical Professor of Hematology

    City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center
    Duarte, CA

    Frequently Asked QuestionsLymphoma Causes

    What is lymphoma?

    Lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system. Sometimes called a blood cancer, it happens when white blood cells known as lymphocytes mutate and start growing out of control. There are two main types of lymphoma: Hodgkin’s lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Is lymphoma genetic?

    Not in the traditional way, but genes play a role. Genes in your DNA known as “oncogenes” trigger cell growth, while “tumor suppressor genes” slow it down—mistakes and mutations can turn these genes on or off, potentially leading to lymphoma.

    Is lymphoma curable?

    Some types and cases of lymphoma are curable! It depends on the type and stage, and how aggressive the cancer is. In fact, Hodgkin’s lymphoma is considered one of the most curable types of cancer.

    Are Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma the same?

    Yes. Hodgkin’s disease is a type of lymphoma named after Thomas Hodgkin, the doctor who first described it in 1832. The other main type of the disease is known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

    Sunny Sea Gold

    Sunny Sea Gold


    Sunny is a health journalist, book author, and essayist living in Portland, OR.