Reducing your risk for Hodgkin lymphoma

You may lower your risk of developing Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) by doing the following.

Protect yourself from HIV and EBV infections

You can lower your risk of getting HIV infection by avoiding activities that are known to increase the risk of HIV, such as intravenous drug use or having sex without a condom with many partners.

To help reduce the risk of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, don’t share drinks, food, utensils or toothbrushes.

Live smoke-free

Smoking tobacco may increase your risk of developing HL. If you smoke, get help to quit.

Find out if you’re at high risk for Hodgkin lymphoma

Some people can have a higher than average risk for HL. Talk to your doctor about your risk. If you are at higher than average risk, you may need to visit your doctor more often to check for HL. Your doctor will recommend what tests you should have and how often you should have them.

More information about reducing your risk of cancer

Learn how cancer can be prevented and what you can do to reduce your risk.

Expert review and references

  • American Cancer Society. Hodgkin Lymphoma. 2018:
  • Hjalgrim H, Chang ET, Glaser SL . Hodgkin lymphoma. Thun MJ (ed.). Schottenfeld and Fraumeni Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention. 4th ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2018: 39: 745 - 765.
  • Melbye M, Hjalgrim H, Adami H . Hodgkin lymphoma. Adami HO, Hunter D, Trichopoulos D. Textbook of Cancer Epidemiology. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2008: 26:653-668.

Medical disclaimer

The information that the Canadian Cancer Society provides does not replace your relationship with your doctor. The information is for your general use, so be sure to talk to a qualified healthcare professional before making medical decisions or if you have questions about your health.

We do our best to make sure that the information we provide is accurate and reliable but cannot guarantee that it is error-free or complete.

The Canadian Cancer Society is not responsible for the quality of the information or services provided by other organizations and mentioned on, nor do we endorse any service, product, treatment or therapy.

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