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Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma & Benzene

Many workers who endured benzene exposures are at elevated risk for developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Mechanics, plumbers, gasoline tanker truck drivers, and maritime workers are some of the people with an elevated risk of contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is a type of cancer that develops in white blood cells called lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are part of the immune system and help fight off diseases. In non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the body produces too many abnormal lymphocytes. Tumors will often develop from these abnormal lymphocytes.  The cancerous lymphocytes generally accumulate in the lymph nodes, causing them to swell. However, the cancerous lymphocytes can also spread to the tonsils, bone marrow, spleen, lymphatic vessels, adenoids, and thymus.

Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma can either develop in B cells or T cells.  Most non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma develops in B cells. B cells help fight infections by producing antibodies.  Types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that begin in B cells include diffuse B-cell lymphoma, follicular lymphoma, mantle cell lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma. It is less common for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma to occur in T cells.  T cells kill virus-infected cells and help B cells make antibodies. Types of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma that develop in T cells include T-cell lymphoma and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.

What causes non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Occupational exposures to solvents like benzene, pesticides, and ionizing radiation have been associated with the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

What are the Symptoms of non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma?

Symptoms and signs of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include enlarged lymph nodes, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain or swelling, weight loss, shortness of breath, chest pain or pressure, night sweats, easy bruising or bleeding, and frequent infections. To diagnose non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, doctors may conduct a physical examination and a variety of tests, including blood tests, urine tests, imaging tests, lymph nodes test, and bone marrow test.  

Treatment for non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

Treatment of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma may include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, bone marrow transplant, and other drug therapies.

Plaintiffs have received numerous settlements related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnoses stemming from previous benzene exposures.  In 2007, a former hand painter who worked in the paint department of a promotions company received a settlement from the manufacturers of benzene-containing paint products that she used at work.  

In 2008, the family of a former lithographic printer who was diagnosed with large B-cell lymphoma received a settlement from manufacturers of the inks and solvents that he used during his career in the printing industry. Visit our Cases page to see real benzene case fact patterns and results. 

lymphoma benzene 

Every lymphoma case is unique and will present a wide array of challenges. To determine if you have a case, call 1-800-BENZENE today for your free consultation with a knowledgeable benzene attorney.

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