Posted on 11th February, 2020
by Legal Staff
In the last few years, tens of thousands of Americans suffering from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using the herbicide Roundup have decided to take their matter to court against the agrochemical giant Monsanto, presently owned by Bayer AG. Recent litigations occurred on the backdrop of IARC's decision to put glyphosate, on their list.
Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is one of the most common forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, making up some 22% of all diagnosed cases in the US.
Although it's considered a fast-acting form of the disease, DLBCL responds surprisingly well to treatment. 75% of patients show no form of cancer in their bodies after the first round of medication, and 50% can be said to be "cured", experiencing no recurrence.
Like all forms of NHL, DLBCL starts in the lymphatic system, when white cells called B-lymphocyte suffer enough DNA damage to lose their normal function in the body. These are less potent at fighting infection than regular cells and multiply a lot faster, potentially crowding their healthy counterparts.
Tumors may first appear in the lymph nodes but also several other areas that are outside the lymphatic system, like the gastrointestinal tract, liver, thyroid, testes, skin, breast, brain, and bones. By the time it is first discovered, DLBCL will generally have spread to multiple areas of the body.
The most commonly affected demographics are white or Jewish men in their early-to-mid 60s, with the chances of developing the condition increasing with age. Another risk factor has been found to be exposure to high levels of radiation and a number of chemicals, including dioxin and glyphosate-containing pesticides.
It is believed that glyphosate can damage white cell membranes, causing mutations in their DNA which leads to several forms of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The surfactant used in formulations such as Roundup is suspected to facilitate the active ingredient permeating human skin, which makes Roundup and similar products more harmful than the sum of their parts.
People who apply herbicide by using small hand-action pumps without a full-body covering are considered to be most at risk. They often work as:
Detecting DLBCL early is an important factor in minimizing the amount of treatment required. Unfortunately, symptoms may not appear during the first stage of the disease, and when they do, these share a lot of commonality with other forms of cancer or infections.
Consider visiting a medic if you experience the following:
If a blood test shows abnormal levels of lymphocytes, your doctor will conduct a biopsy of one of the swollen lymph nodes. A sample can be taken from near the surface of the skin or using a long needle, from swollen regions deeper inside the body with the patient under full anesthesia. The type of lymphocytes present can be identified visually under a microscope or by using special test markers.
A bone marrow biopsy is conducted to provide additional information, sometimes followed by imaging scans. The treatment usually starts right away, with chemotherapy sessions consisting mainly of a drug called rituximab administered every 3 weeks. In more severe cases, X-rays might be used, and STEM cell therapy will be considered an option if the cancer returns.
While DLBCL is seen as highly treatable, treatment costs fairly high, reaching an average of $142,680 per year. All possible ways for covering payments should be considered, from religious charities to pursuing for damages in a court of law.
Some of the most common users of Roundup include, but are not limited to farmworkers, groundskeepers, nursery employees, garden center employees, and landscapers.
These individuals are exposed to glyphosate from breathing it in while spraying or mixing the Roundup product. Also, they can be exposed by drinking water or eating food that has been contaminated with it.
If you or someone in the family was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, b-cell lymphoma, leukemia, or other forms of cancer after using the weed killer Roundup, contact us today and we will help you determine if you meet the preliminary requirements for a claim.