What’s the Problem?
Roundup (glyphosate), a widely-used herbicide made by the Monsanto Company, has been linked to follicular lymphoma, a potentially fatal blood cancer that begins in the immune system. Research has suggested for decades that farm workers and others exposed to Roundup may face an increased risk of developing cancer; however, lawsuits allege that Monsanto has not taken the proper steps to warn consumers of its significant health risks.
What is Follicular Lymphoma?
Follicular lymphoma is a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) that occurs when the body makes abnormal B-lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infection. In contrast to most other forms of NHL, follicular lymphoma typically grows slowly (indolent) and may not require treatment for many years.
Does Roundup Cause Cancer?
While there are a number of potential causes for follicular lymphoma, some cases diagnosed in recent years have been linked to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which the World Health Organization (WHO) identified in 2015 as a “probable human carcinogen” (cancer-causing substance).
Follicular Lymphoma Symptoms
People with follicular lymphoma often have few if any recognizable signs or symptoms at the time of diagnosis. However, as the disease progresses, it may produce the following symptoms:
- Enlargement of lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, stomach or groin
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Tests and Diagnosis
To diagnose follicular lymphoma, the patient’s lymph node will be removed and examined for lymphoma cells. Patients will also undergo testing to determine how many groups of lymph nodes are affected and whether the lymphoma has spread to other parts of the body. This process is referred to as staging.
The stages of follicular lymphoma include:
- Stage I – Only one lymph node region or lymph structure is involved.
- Stage II – Two or more lymph node regions or lymph node structures on the same side of the diaphragm are involved.
- Stage III – Lymph node regions or structures on both sides of the diaphragm are involved.
- Stage IV – There is widespread involvement of a number of organs or tissues other than lymph node regions or structures.
As a slow-growing cancer, follicular lymphoma does not always require treatment right away. When treatment is needed, it typically involves a combination of chemotherapy and a monoclonal antibody called rituximab. Some patients may choose to undergo radiotherapy. Other patients may be invited to join a clinical trial investigating new ways of treating follicular lymphoma.
Survival Rates and Factors that Affect Prognosis (Outlook)
The Follicular Lymphoma International Prognostic Index (FLIPI) is a tool that can be used to estimate the prognosis and survival rate for patients diagnosed with follicular lymphoma at 5 and 10 years. The disease is slow-growing and typically responds well to treatment, but it cannot be cured unless it is diagnosed in stage I. However, despite the fact that follicular lymphoma cannot be cured, the prognosis is generally very good and the median survival is about 8-15 years, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Coping and Support
A diagnosis of follicular lymphoma often causes a wide range of feelings and concerns. Additionally, cancer treatment can cause physical pain and discomfort. Support groups and online message boards can help patients communicate with other people who have the disease. One-to-one peer support programs, such as the Lymphoma Support Network, match lymphoma survivors and caregivers with volunteers who have gone through similar experiences.
Roundup lawsuits allege that Monsanto led a “prolonged campaign of misinformation” to convince the public, agricultural workers and government agencies that Roundup was safe even though the weed killer’s main ingredient glyphosate has been classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization.
Specifically, the complaints allege that:
- Monsanto concealed information about the risks of Roundup and aggressively marketed the herbicide as safe for humans and the environment.
- Monsanto “championed falsified data” while attacking legitimate research linking Roundup to cancer.
- Monsanto made a conscious decision not to redesign its weed killer so that it was less dangerous to humans and the environment.
- Monsanto knew or should have known that its product could cause cancer, but failed to adequately warn consumers.
- Monsanto did not adequately monitor Roundup after bringing the product to market.
FREE Confidential Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one was diagnosed with follicular 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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