STEP 1: Prevention and early detection

This step outlines recommendations for the prevention and early detection of Hodgkin lymphoma and DLBCL.

Evidence shows that not smoking, avoiding or limiting alcohol intake, eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy body weight, being physically active, being sun smart and avoiding exposure to oncoviruses or carcinogens may help reduce cancer risk (Cancer Council Australia 2018).

The causes of Hodgkin lymphoma and DLBCL are not fully understood, and there is currently no clear prevention strategy.

The risk factors for developing Hodgkin lymphoma and DLBCL include:

  • age – all ages can develop these lymphomas; however, DLBCL is most common in middle-aged to older adults, while Hodgkin lymphoma is common in adolescents and young adults as well as older adults
  • intrinsic immunosuppression – patients who have received an organ transplant, are HIV-positive or are being therapeutically treated with immunosuppressants
  • viral infection with Epstein-Barr virus in conjunction with immune deficiency
  • family history of lymphoproliferative disorder.

Risk factors specific to DLBCL are:

  • gender – males have a slightly higher risk
  • a high BMI
  • B-cell-activating autoimmune diseases (Cerhan et al. 2014)
  • prolonged hair dye use (Parodi et al. 2016)
  • obesity (Bhaskaran et al. 2014)
  • personal or family history of a lymphoproliferative disorder.

Everyone should be encouraged to reduce their modifiable risk factors, including preventing and/or reducing obesity.

There is no established role for screening in Hodgkin lymphoma or DLBCL. However, people at risk of developing immunodeficiency-associated lymphoma should be made aware of the increased risk.