Cancer in Prince George
My Cancer Story
In 2010 at age 58 I developed aggressive diffuse large B-cell non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (DLBCL) that progressed to a stage IV tumour eating away my sacrum and lower spinal nerves. I live (since 1977) with wood smoke and other air pollutants in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada. I am 64 years old as of July 2016.
After reading* about my cancer, I discovered that lymphocytes and macrophages in lungs absorb many of the tiny particles from air pollution and then go to lymph nodes where they often sit for years, sometimes causing changes and sometimes leading to cancer.
I was given 2 months to live except that radiation and chemotherapy (CHOP R) works so well against fast growing cancer cells. And I have an axe to grind against needless pollution like wood smoke. People can also blame pesticides, organic solvents, paint thinners, dioxins and benzene for cancer, but I was most exposed to wood smoke.
*From “Environmental Health Science” by Morton Lippmann, et al (2003, Oxford UP)
(RA 566 .L55 2003)
Page 152: Deposited particles in the alveolar (lung cell) region may be taken up, over half-times that vary from days to years, via phagocytosis, by specialized cells known as alveolar macrophages, which are present on the alveolar surfaces. The macrophages, and also free particles, may penetrate the alveolar epithelium, entering the interstitial tissue where they may remain (parenchymal sequestration), or become absorbed into the lymphatic system. Macrophages carried in this system may be trapped in lymph nodes, which act as dust stores of the lung, or they may eventually drain with the lymphatic fluid into the systemic blood.
Now in October 2015, I have developed CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukaemia) probably due to the radiation treatment from my lymphoma. Thanks to modern chemo, especially the CHOP R for lymphoma and also Imatinib for CML, I am still hanging in there. But no thanks for the wood smoke.