So, I've been a little obsessed lately with cancer research based on geography. I've been up too late for my own good searching the ol' Internet for info. And talking to people from University Village (UV) that know a few more of the facts about what has gone on there in the last few years in terms of cancer occurances, especially with kids.
Here's what I've found:
More than one case of a single type of cancer in a small region could still statistically be attributed to chance. One site that I saw talking about statistically analysis of cancer occurances said that it would take 16-18 instances of the same type of cancer in a population of 200,000 people, in the same geographical area, to no be attributed to chance. I'm not sure how large of an area they were speaking of but it does show that these could just be a crazy coincidence. Doesn't seem like it to me, but it could be attributed to chance. I think a lot of this came from a bunch of ALL case in Fallon.
Also I talked to an old long time resident of UV last night and confirmed some of the information from the last post. Here it is:
6 kids total have been diagnosed with cancer while living in UV in the last 4ish years.
1 with bone cancer, age 1? I think
2 with ALL (Abby and the girl that we saw down at light the night). Both diagnosed at age 3.
2 with brain tumors... not sure of their ages but I think both were young.
1 with Lymphoma, age 16 at diagnosis...lived in the building adjacent to us. Not sure of what type of lymphoma but some non spreading type that effected some nodes in his chest, neck and groin.
So 6 kids. But according to research only the same type of cancer can really be linked together for statistical puposes sooo.... hmmm. Very interesting stuff to me.
Anyway here's what I'm doing:
I've called the UV manager to let him know what I'm doing and see if he has records of any other cancer case.
I've contacted the CCCR Colorado Central Cancer Repository... (thanks Julie for the comment on this) and they are going to call me back. These Central repositories are set up in most states now and they track all occurances of cancer based on type of cancer and geographical data. They also will research reports of "clusters" from the general public. So that's what I'm going to ask about.
I'm trying to take this research from the bottom up so that the people at UV don't get a bunch of top down presure with out being in the loop. Actually, I think most of the people at UV have kids and all of them live there so they all definately have a reason to want to help. Hopefully none of their kids get something. Maybe it is just a statisical anomaly? Definately weird though huh?
Other than that obsession of mine, things have been pretty normal. Abby's doing good. Her counts are good, and she has great energy. Her next pulse of Decadron is in 2 weeks as well as a spinal tap, and Vincristine. Until that time, we are just pluging away and having fun.
More news on all of the Schreiber's crazy life to come soon... and yes it's just gonna get crazier.
To shed a little more light on the Fallon, Nevada childhood leukemia cluster, there are currently 17 cases included in the official investigation, and an additional 8 cases which are not included. All 8 additional cases appear to meet the same criteria for inclusion as the official 17 cases. Fallon's Census2000 population was 7,586 persons, 2,383 of whom were Children. According to NIH/SEER the expected rate of incidence of ALL is 3 cases per every 100,000 Children. Of the 17 official cases, 12 cases were diagnosed within about 18 months of each other. In terms of time spatial clustering, Fallon's childhood leukemia cluster is the most aggressive attack of cancer in medical history worldwide. A recent study by Steinmaus et al of UCBerkley finds that for the Fallon cluster to be the result of random chance, the odds of that happening would be 1 in 232,000. Expressed a little differently, such a random occurrence could only happen on our Earth once every 26,000 years.
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