Cancer Home > Cause of Hodgkin's Disease

Researchers have yet to find the exact cause of Hodgkin's disease; however, scientists have identified certain risk factors for the disease. A risk factor for the cancer is not a cause of Hodgkin's disease; a risk factor increases the chances of developing the disease. Risk factors for Hodgkin's disease include being male, having a family history of Hodgkin's disease, and being infected with the Epstein-Barr virus.

What Is the Cause of Hodgkin's Disease?

No one knows the exact causes of Hodgkin's disease. Doctors can seldom explain why one person develops the disease and another does not. However, it is clear that Hodgkin's disease is not contagious. No one can "catch" this disease from another person.
 

Cause of Hodgkin's Disease: Know the Risk Factors

Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop Hodgkin's disease. A risk factor is anything that is linked to an increased chance of developing a disease.
 
Researchers have identified the following risk factors for Hodgkin's disease:
 
  • Age (see below)
  • Gender (Hodgkin's disease is more common in men than it is in women.)
  • Family history of Hodgkin's disease
  • Viruses.
     
While these risk factors are not exact causes of Hodgkin's disease, they do make a person more likely to develop the disease.
 
Age/Gender
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 of Hodgkin's Disease
Brothers and sisters of those with Hodgkin's disease have a higher-than-average chance of developing this disease.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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