Does Roundup Cause Breast Cancer?

Roundup, the weed killing herbicide made with the active ingredient glyphosate, has sparked much controversy over the years with many studies showing Roundup linked to cancer. As a result, many individuals have also been asking the questions: What kind of cancer does Roundup cause and does Roundup cause breast cancer?

Roundup Linked to Cancer

Agribusiness Monsanto has found itself in the middle of a series of lawsuits filed by individuals claiming to have gotten ill with cancer due to Roundup. Roundup is an herbicide used to kill weeds, including annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops. St. Louis-based agribusiness, Monsanto, is the manufacturer of Roundup and it has been on the market ever since the 1970s. A study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found the Roundup cancer causing agent to likely be its main ingredient, glyphosate. Researchers regarded glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen and performed lab tests on animals, concluding the chemical damaged DNA in human cells.

On the contrary, Monsanto has detested those research findings and have argued that their product is safe. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the WHO Joint Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) also took Monsanto’s side in the Roundup linked to cancer debate, stating that glyphosate is unlikely to pose a risk to human health. With that said, critics, including Greenpeace, have wondered if the UN/JMPR’s conclusion was biased due to some of their members having prior involvement with Monsanto.

There is much debate still on both sides regarding if Roundup causes cancer and if glyphosate is the Roundup cancer causing agent. Nevertheless, approximately 25 lawsuits have been filed against Monsanto with many plaintiffs stating that Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a common yet potentially fatal blood cancer.

Does Roundup Link to Breast Cancer?

In regards to what kind of cancer does Roundup cause, the most commonly reported type is non-Hodgkin lymphoma. With that said, there isn’t much conclusive evidence available to the public to support the question, “does Roundup cause breast cancer.” There has not been prominent research on Roundup nor the probable Roundup cancer causing agent, glyphosate regarding the mammary glands. Nevertheless, there have been a few, sporadic studies (mostly international) with significant findings that linked Roundup to breast cancer, with the main ingredient glyphosate being the likely breast cancer-causing agent. A 2005 French study found that glyphosate disrupts aromatase activity. Aromatase is an enzyme often used in new drugs as an inhibitor to treat breast cancer.

A small US study found that glyphosate disrupted the estrogen-regulated genes causing tumor formation and tumor growth. Unfortunately, this US study regarding Roundup’s effect on the sex hormones and tumor growth was not pushed into the public as other Roundup/cancer studies were. A more recent study in Thailand showed how glyphosate affected the human hormone dependent breast cancer T47D cells. It was shown, however that glyphosate exerted multiplicative effects only in human hormone-dependent breast cancer, T47D cells, but not in hormone-independent breast cancer. These independent studies provided evidence that Roundup and its ingredient glyphosate propose links to breast cancer. Although there are findings that Roundup disrupts the balance of sex hormones such as estrogen, many individuals are still left wondering does Roundup cause breast cancer because the studies have not been widely acknowledged by bigger corporations for unknown reasons. Research in the US, concerning if Roundup causes breast cancer, is for the most part neglected by large organizations such as the WHO, while other types of cancers, especially non-Hodgkin lymphoma are heavily focused on regarding Roundup.

Roundup on Skin

Aside from being linked to cancer, Roundup on skin can result in a few negative effects for individuals. If an individual is exposed to Roundup, such as having Roundup contact their skin, they may endure skin or eye irritation (if it gets in the eyes), and gastrointestinal tract irritation, leading to vomiting or diarrhea. Roundup on skin, however, has been said not to cause severe effects and can be resolved by washing the exposed skin with soap and plenty of water.

Though initial exposure to Roundup may not show any severe effects, frequent and long-term exposure to Roundup has been linked to severe health issues including cancer. With individuals coming forward with cases that Roundup caused their non-Hodgkin lymphoma or blood cancer, others have also speculated about what other kinds of cancer does Roundup cause. Such cancers that were considered to be linked to Roundup include: Breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, and brain cancer. 

With research still being conducted on Roundup’s link to cancer, more lawsuits may be in the works for company Monsanto. With various studies having supporting evidence for Roundup’s relation to cancer, you may have a case if you have been diagnosed with cancer and have used Roundup.

However, individuals who believe their breast cancer was caused by Roundup may find more difficulty obtaining a case due to the limited research. If you have any questions about these Monsanto Roundup lawsuits, please contact our firm for more information.