Doctors don’t know the precise cause but have identified several risk factors. A diet that is high in meat and dietary fat is one major risk factor, along with exposure to certain pesticides or herbicides or taking immunosuppressant drugs in the aftermath of an organ transplant. Other risk factors include having an autoimmune disease, such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or Sjogren syndrome, or HIV/AIDS.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is more common in people over the age of 60, although it can strike at any age, including in children. Men are at greater risk than women, and whites at greater risk than blacks, according to the American Cancer Society.