Research has shown a connection between mononucleosis caused by the Epstein-Barr virus and an increased risk for Hodgkin's disease, a type of lymphoma, reports WebMD. However, patients suspected of having mononucleosis but testing negative for the EBV antibody show no increased risk for lymphoma.
Medical professionals suspect that EPV weakens the immune cells that combat cancer, increasing the risk for lymphoma, notes WebMD. Researchers have determined that about one-third of Hodgkin's lymphoma cases are related to EPV, but the risk is still relatively small. The time frame for developing lymphoma after a mononucleosis infection spans around four years and peaks after two.