There’s been a striking increase in the number of patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in recent years that may be linked to exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup weed killer.
What is Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (also known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, NHL, or just lymphoma) is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). The disease typically begins in the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissue, but may also involve bone marrow and blood. Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma isn’t just one disease – it’s actually a diverse group of blood cancers that share a single characteristic in how they grow.
The Roundup-Cancer Connection
An April 2014 review published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that glyphosate exposure may be a main reason for the massive increase in patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma over the past 30 years. For the review, researchers looked at 44 studies to see how 80 active ingredients in 21 different chemical classes affected farmers’ risk of contracting the disease. They found that exposure to glyphosate doubled a person’s risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Glyphosate Use and “Roundup Ready” Crops
The main reason for the widespread use of glyphosate stems from the rise of genetically modified crops (GMCs, GM crops, or biotech crops). Monsanto developed genetically engineered “Roundup Ready” seeds that were designed to withstand heavy exposure to glyphosate. Over the past 20 years, use of these seeds has skyrocketed in the U.S. and abroad.
Despite initially being marketed as a way to reduce chemical use in farming, genetically modified crops actually increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds (11%) between 1996 and 2011, according to a recent study published in Environmental Sciences Europe. The researchers also found that for every one pound of insecticide avoided, four pounds of herbicides are used.
Additionally, weeds are developing resistance to glyphosate because it’s being so widely used, which is requiring farmers to spray larger amounts of the chemical more frequently. In fact, Norwegian scientists recently detected “extreme levels” of glyphosate in genetically engineered soy plants.
“Data has been emerging that point to various health and environmental consequences resulting from glyphosate and Roundup use,” said Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicology and former chair of zoology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “These include an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, genetic damage, neurological impacts, as well as water contamination, impacts on amphibians and immune function, and increasing weed resistance.”
Roundup ‘Probably’ Causes Cancer: IARC
In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) published a report in The Lancet Oncology which declared that glyphosate “probably” causes cancer in humans. The agency reclassified glyphosate in Group 2A on its list of agents that may cause cancer.
“All three lines of evidence sort of said the same thing, which is we ought to be concerned about this,” said Aaron Blair, a retired epidemiologist from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and chairman of the group of 17 reviewers who unanimously agreed with the classification.
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Symptoms
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Swollen abdomen
- Feeling full after only a small amount of food
- Chest pain or pressure
- Shortness of breath / cough
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Low red blood cell counts (anemia)
Several different approaches can be used to treat patients diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, depending on the type and stage of the cancer. Popular treatment methods include:
- Chemotherapy and other drug therapy
- Radiation therapy (usually combined with chemo)
- Stem cell transplantation
Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma patients may also be asked to participate in a clinical trial, which can involve therapy with new drug combinations and/or new approaches to stem cell transplantation.
Factors that may increase your risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma include:
- Use of Roundup weed killer or other glyphosate-based product
- Age – most cases occur in patients over the age of 60
- Previous chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Immune system deficiency
- HIV / AIDS infection
Coping and Support
In addition to the medical problems associated with a diagnosis of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, patients will have to cope with a wide variety of emotional, psychological and practical issues. Patients will need to reprioritize their lives and make decisions they otherwise would not have to make. Remember that you are an individual and your situation is unique – there is no “right” way to feel when going through this process. Only you can decide how best to cope with lymphoma, its treatments and how to manage daily life. Learn more about how to cope with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from the Mayo Clinic.
Roundup cancer lawsuits have been consolidated into a multidistrict litigation (MDL No. 2741) for pretrial handling before U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in the Northern District of California. The complaints allege that Roundup caused farmers, landscapers, golf course and agricultural workers to face an increased risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other types of cancer.
FREE Confidential Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using or being exposed to Roundup weed killer, you may be eligible to obtain compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help. Contact a Roundup attorney today for a Free Confidential Case Evaluation by filling out the form below or calling toll free 24/hrs a day by dialing (866) 588-0600.
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