Being exposed regularly to Roundup may cause some serious forms of cancer. Below is more information about the various cancers you could be at risk for from exposure to this toxic chemical. You should be looked at immediately by a doctor if you suspect you have one of these cancers caused by Roundup exposure.
Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is cancer that damages the lymphatic system, per the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. (1). The disease normally starts in the lymph nodes and lymphatic tissues. But it can also get into the blood and bone marrow. Non-Hodgkins lymphoma is not only one disease. It is several blood cancers that share some characteristics for how they grow.
According to an April 2014 review that was published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, glyphosate exposure could be a top reason for the large increase of patients that have been diagnosed with this serious cancer over the last 30 years. (2). For this review, researchers looked at 45 studies to determine how 80 active ingredients in 20 different chemical classes affected the risk of farmers to contract the disease. It was determined that being exposed to glyphosate doubled the risk of developing this form of cancer.
Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma
Exposure to Roundup has been associated with a higher risk for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This is a serious blood cancer that can threaten one’s life. It starts in the lymph glands. Many lawsuits are now being filed against Monsanto for not warning of the real cancer risk with Roundup.
A series of clinical studies that were published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in 2014 found that glyphosate in Roundup was a possible cause of lymph gland blood cancers. (3). This was especially the case for non-Hodgkins lymphoma and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma. This review looked at more than 30 years of research on the cancer link and being exposed to pesticides.
Researchers looked at the results from dozens of academic papers and noted an association between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and 20 pesticide chemical groups that contain at least 89 active ingredients. This analysis determined that carbamate insecticides and the active ingredient lindane were associated with this type of cancer.
Lymphoma is a type of cancer that affects the lymphatic system, which is a vital part of the immune system. The disease happens when lymphocytes begin to divide out of control. There are two major types of lymphocytes – B lymphocytes and T lymphocytes. Lymphoma can develop in either type of cell, but most of it happens with B cells.
Roundup use also has been linked to follicular lymphoma. This is a possibly fatal blood cancer that starts in the immune system. Research suggests that farm workers and others that were exposed to Roundup could face a larger risk of getting cancer.
Follicular lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkins lymphoma that happens when the body produces abnormal B-lymphocytes, which are white blood cells that fight infections in your body. Follicular lymphoma is different from other types in that it grows slowly and may not need treatment for years.
Symptoms of this type of cancer are: (4)
- Bigger lymph nodes in the neck, underarm, groin or stomach
- Shortness of breath
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
Cutaneous T-Cell Lymphoma
Roundup weed killer has been related to a very rare skin cancer called cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Lawsuits have accused Monsanto of not warning consumers and the medical community about cancer risks.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma occurs when white blood cells in your immune system multiply and grow wildly. The human body features two sorts of lymphocytes that can become lymphomas. These are B-lymphocytes and T-lymphocytes.
T-cell lymphomas now account for 15% of every case of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that is diagnosed in the United States. One of the most frequent forms of the cancer is cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Symptoms of this form of cancer are:
- Bigger than normal lymph nodes
- Dry skin
- Chronic itchiness
- Small raised bumps
- Skin tumors
Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma
Anaplastic large cell lymphoma or ALCL is a very rare type of T-cell lymphoma that only comprises 3% of the lymphomas that adults get in the US (5). It is about 10-30% of the number of lymphomas in children. The cells that form the disease have a special marker named CD30. ALCL arises from T-cell type lymphocytes and is thought to be a very aggressive lymphoma. Getting treated immediately right after diagnosis is important.
Symptoms of large cell lymphoma are:
- A backache
- Lymph node swelling
- Appetite loss
- Night sweats
Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia is a type of cancer that affects your white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are in bone marrow and help your body to combat infection. In patients with this type of cancer, the body produces too many lymphocytes that do not work properly. Chronic lymphocytic leukemia affects adults that are older and accounts for ⅓ of leukemias generally.
It is common for people with chronic lymphocytic leukemia to not show any signs or symptoms for years. During this time, cells can easily spread to other areas of the body, including the liver, spleen and lymph nodes. This makes the condition quite deadly and hard to treat. Symptoms with they come are:
- Enlarged, painless lymph nodes
- Pain in the upper part of your abdomen; can be caused by an enlarged spleen
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Regular infections
Primary Nervous System Lymphoma
Primary CNS lymphoma is cancer where the malignant cells develop in your lymph tissue of the brain and spinal cord. Lymphocytes are carried in the lymph and travel to and from the central nervous system. It is thought that these lymphocytes can get malignant and lead to lymphoma to form in the central nervous system. (6). The cancer can start in the brain, meninges or spinal cord.
- Changes in vision or speech
- Weight loss
- Changes in personality
- Numbness to high and low temperatures
- Paralysis on a side of the body
Mantle Cell Lymphoma
Mantle Cell Lymphoma is a rare form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is a cancer of the lymphatic system. (7). The lymphatic system contains tubes that carry lymph through your body. Lymph has white blood cells that circulate around the tissues of the body and combat infection. Lymphoma causes some lymphocytes to not function properly. They start to divide regularly but are not able to fully develop and cannot fight infections as regular white blood cells do.
Symptoms of Mantle cell lymphoma are:
- Heavy night sweats
- Temperatures that come and go with no reason
- Quick weight loss
- Stomach pain
- Understanding Leukemia. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lls.org/sites/default/files/file_assets/understandingleukemia.pdf
- Monsanto’s Glyphosate Now Most Heavily Used Weedkiller in History. (2016). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160202090536.htm
- Study: Glyphosate Doubles Risk of Lymphoma. (2014 May). Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/agmag/2014/05/study-glyphosate-doubles-risk-lymphoma
- Follicular Lymphoma Symptoms. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/follicular-lymphoma
- About Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lymphoma.org/aboutlymphoma/nhl/alcl/
- Central Nervous System Lymphoma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.lls.org/lymphoma/non-hodgkin-lymphoma/treatment/treatment-for-aggressive-nhl-subtypes/central-nervous-system-cns-lymphoma
- Mantle Cell Lymphoma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/lymphoma/lymphoma-non-hodgkin/understanding-cancer/types-of-non-hodgkin-lymphoma/mantle-cell-lymphoma.html