1 leukemia boy, 1 brain cancer boy, same block - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-30-2004, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just learned that a 12-year-old boy across the street has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Not good; very, very sad, I can't imagine the heartbreak of that trauma.

Two years ago, there was a 4-year-old boy on the same block (houses away from this one) who was undergoing treatment for leukemia (his family moved away.)

uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh........

.......needless to say, now I am freaking out about my own babies and their health, and if there could be someting environmental going on. This town is on a river, and just a 1/2 mile downstream is a coal-burning power plant smokestack, and another mile downstream is a window (for homes/businesses) manufacturing plant.

Both of these businesses are polluters, and I've looked them up at Scorecard.org. I've always been displeased with these icons of ill health in my community, but what are you going to do--the city's polluted, the countryside is drenched in pesticides/herbicides/etc. DDT is found in the breastmilk of Aelutian Eskimos, according to Sandra Steingraber's cited research.

I think the father of the leukemia boy is a painter (houses) and the other boy's father works with kitchen remodeling. I'm not 100% sure on these professions, nor could I speculate on their lifestyles (but I've not seen them at my co-op.)

I want to run screaming, and then I wonder if I'm over-reacting. Is this a coincidence? Or something insidious?
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:37 PM
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how sad. I wouldn't freak out at two cancers on the street. I'm not a scientist but if I remember the studies I've seen about dangerous towns (near the coal sands in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia for instance), there's more likely to be an environmental problem if its the same type of cancer.
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:50 PM
 
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Makes a person wonder whats in the water...
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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y'know, folks in this town wondered the same thing back in 1995, and indeed the Minnesota Department of Health did a study on the area, and did water sampling, because residents were freaking out about a possible brain cancer cluster (of 20 cancer victims, vs. the 13 that the Department of Health suggested would have occured, based on statistical data. The conclusion was "there's no problem" because the 20 cases is not statistically more than the 13 that should've been reproted.)
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Old 09-30-2004, 09:59 PM
 
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There was a great article in the New Yorker a few years ago (five, maybe?) about what does and does not constitute a cancer cluster. It would likely be reassuring reading, if you could find it. The gist, if I remember correctly (which, given the time lapse and my mommy brain, is about 50/50 odds) is that there must be lots of cancers of the same type for it to be a genuine cluster. "Cancer" describes a lot of things, which may have totally different triggers.

Can't give up actin' tough, it's all that I'm made of. Can't scrape together quite enough to ride the bus to the outskirts of the fact that I need love. ~ Neko Case

 
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Old 09-30-2004, 10:01 PM
 
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Yeah, I know what you mean. I live in what's called 'cancer valley'. Lovely, huh. Actually, where my parents live, they were warned by some public official to drink bottled water because the tap water contained dangerous levels of C8.

~lisa~mama to 3 boys (1/02, 5/04, 12/06)
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