There is a link between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) and smoking. Heavy smoking has an association with NHL, and the link is especially strong with the subtype known as follicular lymphoma.
This article examines the relationship between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and smoking, including how much smoking increases the risk, whether smoking makes NHL worse, and whether it affects treatment.
An older 2005 study found a link between smoking and a higher risk of the NHL subtype known as follicular lymphoma, but not other subtypes. Follicular lymphoma is the
The 2005 study compared 6,594 people with NHL to 8,892 individuals without NHL. Data analysis showed that people who currently smoked had a 31% higher risk of follicular lymphoma than people who did not smoke. The risk was 45% higher among those who smoked heavily.
The 2017 study also suggests that the risk increases with the amount of smoking. In comparison to people who had never smoked, those who smoked heavily had a
Secondhand smoking, or passive smoking, also appears to raise the risk of follicular lymphoma, according to a 2022 study. The researchers discovered that exposure to more than two people who smoke during childhood raised the risk by
There are no studies that have specifically examined the impact of smoking on NHL, but a
The author discovered that smoking links to a reduced quality of life and an increased risk of secondary tumors, tumors that form in another part of the body.
This suggests that smoking could make NHL worse or raise the risk for future cancers.
The review did not find that smoking has a negative effect on chemotherapy, but the authors note that due to low-quality evidence, it was not possible to draw conclusions on this.
Yes, some research suggests that quitting smoking may lengthen survival for those with follicular lymphoma, as well as NHL in general.
The authors of a
Additionally, an older
- suppressing typical cell death
- having a direct carcinogenic, or cancer-causing, effect
- causing other conditions that can affect survival
Although research on smoking and NHL is still evolving, what does exist suggests that it is important to try to quit smoking as soon as possible.
For support, people can use the following resources:
- Smokefree.gov, which offers tools and tips for quitting smoking
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)‘s free and confidential coaching over the phone, at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669)
American Heart Association (AHA), which provides information online or over the phone at 1-800-AHA-USA1 (1-800-242-8721)
While the ACS does not list smoking as a cause of non-Hodkin’s lymphoma, research does suggest that it increases the risk, particularly for follicular lymphoma. Heavy smoking raises the risk further, with one study indicating that it may elevate the chances of developing NHL by 45%.