Preventing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Lymphoma refers to certain types of cancers affecting the immune cells in our body, mainly those cells inside the lymphatic system. The treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma will depend on the type of lymphoma that the patient is afflicted with. Also, the type further depends on whether the B-cells or T-cells have been affected, and how far the cancer has spread. Once you know what the causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are, is it possible to prevent these?

There is no definite way to prevent the condition. In multiple cases, individuals affected by it were not exposed to any risk factor. So, even if you know what the possible causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may be, you cannot stop the disease from striking. There are, however, certain things that you may do to lower the risks of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. For instance, you can minimize the chances of infections and take steps to boost your immune system. Here are some steps you can follow to try and prevent higher chances of having the disease:

1. Practice safe sex
It is a proven fact that people who have been infected with HIV might have elevated risks of getting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. So, one possible way to avoid increased risks of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is to avoid the known risks of getting HIV. In short, you should refrain from having unprotected sex or using intravenous drugs.

2. Take care while travelling
Contracting HTLV or the human T-cell lymphotropic virus can be one of the causes of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This virus is common in different parts of the world like the Caribbeans and Japan. But it is quite rare in the US. Being careful while you travel can lower your risks of catching this infection.

3. Take antibiotics as per doctor’s orders
Helicobacter Pylori or H.pylori infections have been linked to stomach lymphoma cases. You can lower these risks by treating such infections with antacids and antibiotics. However, it is not known for sure if these treatments work. Usually, people infected with H.pylori does not show any symptoms and sometimes, heartburn is the only sign. Further research is required to identify the best ways to treat this infection.

4. Patients with cancer history
There are cases wherein lymphoma has been triggered because of past episodes of chemotherapy, radiation, or the use of immunosuppressant medicines. Now, doctors are looking for other ways to treat cancer patients without elevating risks of lymphoma in the process.

5. Maintain a healthy weight
Some studies show that obesity may be linked to higher chances of getting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

6. Consume a healthy diet
Other studies reveal that a diet containing a lot of meat or fatty foods may put one at risk. So, you can try to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet to protect your body against lymphoma.

7. Avoid radiation exposure
You must also try and avoid radiation exposure as far as possible. Exposure to chemicals like benzene, insecticides, and herbicides may also be responsible for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

8. Patients considering breast augmentation
Finally, if you are planning to opt for breast implants, you need to discuss it thoroughly with your doctor, and be aware of the risks surrounding it. Some women tend to develop lymphoma in scar tissues surrounding breast implants.