CLL patients who worked in the Print Trade in the 70's-80's

Topic Made On: Oct 30, 2014 09:07pm

Gender: Male
Posts: 2
Hi there I have been diagnosed for 3yrs started chemo July 14 have had 4 of 6 cycles finishing Xmas week. My question is, is there anyone out there with CLL who worked in the print trade using printing chemicals on a daily basis as I did for 38yrs. Another reason for the question is that 2 of my workmates who I worked with for 18 yrs 1975-1989, one guy was diagnosed 5yrs ago with CLL and has like me has just this year started chemo. The other guy was diagnosed 7 yrs ago with Non Hodgkins he is 6 yrs in remission.
Ron Williams

Replied On: Nov 01, 2014 11:53am
steve y

Gender: Male
Posts: 18
Hi Ron,
I was diagnosed with cll 12 months ago and now about to start round 4 of 6 months chemo (FCR).
I worked,(and still do) as an engineer (Toolmaker)since leaving school.

During the seventies , very early eighties , we used to use Trichoethelene, (Tric), as a degreaser. Being young and unwise then, I and many others used to wash our greasy hands in the stuff, It was an excellent de-greaser. Needless to say, a few years later , it was banned worldwide, i believe, as being Carcinogenic. I have often wondered If this could be the cause of my illness, or part off, (along with the stress three years ago from my now ex wife, of course !).
I now work in a print related industry, rebuilding mailroom equipment and i have come across solvents etc, that i now treat very cautiously. We use Isopropyl alcohol, or versions off and i rebuke my workmates as they use it to clean oily or inky fingers. I recently spent a week in hospital with a netropenic fever , after a bit of complacency checking my temperature on a regular basis.a student at the teaching hospital (Coventry University Hospital), was interested in this aspect of my life,my views on how I got here etc, perhaps one day her research will show something in it.

Sorry to digress slightly from your question. I did find this link , re Hodgkinsons , that may be helpful.

It is mainly to do with tricoethelene but i know this chemical carries some of the substances we use today still.

Kind regards and good luck with your treatment

Steve Y

Replied On: Nov 02, 2014 07:17am

Gender: Male
Posts: 3

Not directly related, but I worked in the nuclear industry for for 10 years and over that time received exposure to high levels of radiation.

It might be coincidence, then it might not.


Replied On: Nov 02, 2014 10:05am

Gender: Male
Posts: 1
Hi all,

Not posted much but do read and observe. It is interesting this link being made to the chemicals in common use in our years BC (Before COSHH) I too believe my CLL is related to the many chemicals I was exposed to during my service in the RAF and I am trying to compile a database of chemicals used against the WHO list of carcinogens. Trich and MEK are both there.

I also had some exposure to wartime mustard gas during my time on Bomb Disposal cleaning up the old filling and storage depots. I believe this has a large contribution to my disease.

I must add I am 53 and was diagnosed in 2013 after a routine blood test showed up abnormal counts. I am on W&W and have had very stable results over the last 18 months so apart from all the colds and fatigue I am reasonably normal and hope my time for treatment is a very long way off and comes after all the superb research has found a non aggressive treatment.

Keep well all

Replied On: Nov 03, 2014 06:54pm

Gender: Male
Posts: 2
Hi Steve, thanks for the message it seems that there was a lot of chemicals within many trades,also I think that a lot of people do not know they have CLL I would have never have known prior to a blood test for a non related operation. I sympathize with neutropenia I've had a couple stays in hospital, got my 5th cycle Nov 17 and the last one Xmas week so there goes the turkey.
Take care

Replied On: Nov 03, 2014 07:30pm

Gender: Male
Posts: 7
I too have often wondered about environmental issues.I've had CLL for 7 years and it's stable,one of my best friends went to the same grammar school at the same time as me and we both chose to do medicine which means that we both did chemistry physics and biology to A level.So we were both exposed to toxic substances at school and we both went to the same university where we qualified.He developed non hodgkins lymphoma about 15 years ago and died,I've got CLL,any connexion?, I wouldn't know.

Replied On: Nov 04, 2014 04:42pm

Posts: 37
Hi All

This website may be of interest: it should bring you to the article "Cancer Prevention - environmental toxins and preventing cancer". If you have problems, try and put "toxins" in the search box - it brings up 234 articles! The one mentioned is on page 3. The website reports on research from around the world and has a lot of information about various treatments.

I was diagnosed with NHL in 2001, mutated to CLL in 2010/11. From the 1980s till then I worked in a large service organisation. I was based within 20 miles of a nuclear power station. I knew of a number of staff in the organisation who developed cancers of various kinds - I did wonder if there was an unusual number and whether there was any connection with the power station. I'm now have p53 deletion and am on my 6th round of treatment - this time Ibrutinib.

I lived and worked near arable land and an integrated medical consultant suggested that fertilisers could have had some part to play. Over the years we'd smelled ferilisers being sprayed on the fields at certain times of the year. We have since moved, although not for that reason, and are lucky to be surrounded by organic farms.

Later, some years back, my current NHS consultant told me there was almost an epidemic locally of NHL diagnoses - and that he had seen many servicemen who had returned from Afghanistan or Iraq.

Anecdotally, I remember a comment somewhere that Jacqueline Onassis (Kennedy) had NHL when she died and that she had used dark hair dye for many years - it was thought it contained some toxic chemical, possibly liked with NHL.

There seems there is some concensus about linking toxins to cancer. However, my cancer was diagnosed when I was seriously affected by work-related stress and it's believed that stress lowers the immune system. I'll never know whether I would have developed the cancer if my immune system had been stronger at the time.

There are many tips on the above website about de-toxifying the home environment and others such as not buying a car that's less than a year old, so the chemicals used in manufacture have dispersed. There's also a lot about looking after the immune system.

Sorry this is so long, but hope somebody finds something useful.

Best wishes to all.

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