Usually the concern is a number of cases in a particular area, whether it is a neighborhood or a small community.
In the initial part of the CC investigation we rely on data with the statewide cancer registry. Most of the CC investigations in Iowa involve some geographic area, so we what to identify the addresses that comprise that area. We then can look for those addresses in the registry database and identify people with cancer in that area.
Brain cancer was identified in one cluster and testicular cancer in the other.
Dr.s West and Lynch, can you speak to the fact that cancer cluster investigations focus on a spike in specific cancers... rather then an overall cancer experience. Why is a lot of one type of cancer an indicator of a cluster?
There are no known factors that cause all types of cancer. Thus, the pattern of elevated cancers in the target area can provided a hint as to what is going on. For example, if we found lung, bladder, larynx, esophagus and kidney cancer elevated, these findings would point toward tobacco use, particularly cigarette smoking being more frequent among people residing in the target area.
The brain cancer cluster was in the Wellman, IA area and occured in the 1990s.
Hey Cindy from Amana- I see your comment in our holding area, I can answer that directly- just email me: Beth.Malicki@KCRG.com Thanks!
I agree with Dr. Lynch, in regards to Radon. The Iowa Cancer Consoritium is making a concerted effort to increase the awareness of residential radon and testing. January is Radon Awareness Month, I encourage everyone to get a testing kit, the Linn County Department of Health has those and the cost is only $5. That is something that has been attributed to lung cancers in non-smokers.
Actually I do have an investigation in Palo done in 2011 that did not show any elevation in cancer.
Any last questions? We're ready to wrap up soon.
Iowa pretty much has cancer rates similar to what is found in the white caucasian population in the U.S. Our most common cancers in the statewide cancer registry are lung, colorectum, prostate, and female breast cancers, just like what is reported for the U.S.
Radiation experts say you need to be exposed for at least 5 years.
Thank you Drs. Lynch and West and Nurse Sargent for being our experts in this chat. Thank you for all who submitted questions and shared in this conversation! The online version of this story has a lot of information, if you want to check out KCRG.com. I can help answer further questions : firstname.lastname@example.org