For some with hives, lymphoma comes to mind as a cause. While an urticaria/hives connection is within the realm of possibilities, it is certainly not the first conclusion that should be drawn. The overall risk for lymphoma is low in general. The opposite is true for hives. About one in five people of all ages get an attack of hives. Lymphoma can affect anyone but is much more common in people over 60 years of age. The one common factor with urticaria, hives is a weak immune system. People with a weak immune system make the body more susceptible to hives. Lymphoma susceptibility is increased when the immune system is compromised with HIV/AIDS, for example.
A More Reasoned Approach
First of all determine if your case of hives is acute. This would mean that you haven’t been experiencing them for longer than six weeks. If you haven’t had more than a six week episode, or recurring episodes for more than six weeks, of urticaria, lymphoma shouldn’t yet be on your “worry list”.
Acute hives are more likely to be caused by something like an allergic reaction or exposure to some physical stimuli. If you can find this cause of your hives, lymphoma can be crossed off your list for now. Especially in children, acute hives should probably be considered a reaction of some sort.
If your hives become chronic, lasting for more than six weeks, then you should consider a return trip to discuss other symptoms with your doctor. An immunology specialist is best suited for this, as the cause of hives is very difficult to determine in the majority of cases. In the case that you have a worsening condition of hives, lymphoma can be explored with all the other possibilities. Be sure to report any symptoms like night sweats, or swelling in other areas, particularly the lymph nodes.
Family History Could Play A Part
If people in your family have a history of immune system problems and urticaria, lymphoma chances go up slightly but are still remote. But a family history of immune problems could help you diagnose the cause of the hives. Lymphoma is not proven to be hereditary, but immune system problems with blood relatives may increase your chances of developing both.
Time Is Better Spent Looking For Other Causes
In conclusion, just because you have urticaria, lymphoma should really be pretty far down the list of possible reasons, especially if you are under 60 years old. The overall risk factor is so low and the connection between the two so infrequently documented that worry about this just isn’t warranted. Lymphoma and hives are just not closely related enough.