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Old 09-09-2007, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Bahston
105 posts, read 332,390 times
Reputation: 65
Default a question about Long Island cancer cluster studies

This was mentioned within another recent thread, in connection with specific towns on Long Island.

I wasn't aware of this before, so I did a lot of Googling about it today. I don't mean to denigrate anything about the subject, but I still don't understand how these studies can possibly prove anything about whether or not cancer is a higher risk on Long Island (or certain towns in it) than elsewhere.

Unless the study results were broken down to separate people who have lived on Long Island (or in certain towns on Long Island) according to how long they've lived in that place, and what their genetic cancer risks are, and what lifestyle risks (like smoking) they have, etc -- I don't see how anyone can reasonably conclude that living on Long Island (or in a certain town) constitutes a cancer risk. All the studies seem to show is that at the time they were done, more people were diagnosed with cancer WHILE they were living in a certain place -- which isn't the same as saying that the place they are living in CONTRIBUTED to them getting cancer.

I found one article particularly interesting. It says:

"Concern about high breast cancer rates on Long Island resulted in a series of state studies and a current federal study looking at the area, which once included extensive potato farms sprayed with pesticides such as DDT. The state looked at a variety of possible environmental carcinogens, examining factors such as the water supply, the use of pesticides, and proximity to industry and high-traffic areas. It found only one link: an added risk of breast cancer among post-menopausal women who live near chemical facilities.

The state says further study is needed to prove the connection. "Whether it's associated with the place or with the people who have moved there or lived there a long time--it's just clues," says Baptiste. Finter agrees that the Long Island evidence for environmental risk is still weak. "We don't really have a specific link between geography and breast cancer."

Why does cancer cluster? American Demographics - Find Articles

Google also turned up a link to a 'Newsday' series but none of the links after the main page still work.

I wouldn't deliberately avoid an area on Long Island just because it appears on a 'cancer cluster' map. What do the rest of you think? Would it be a deciding factor in where you look for a home?
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:04 PM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
3 posts, read 36,538 times
Reputation: 11
Lightbulb Breast Cancer on Long Island

My parents moved to Syosset in 1945, when I was little more than a year old. Potato farms and blackberry patches. My mother died from breast cancer at the age of 47, having lived in Syosset for 19 years. One of my sisters died from inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 48, having lived in Syosset for 20 years, then in Hicksville and Levittown. Another sister, age 59, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, 40 years in Syosset; presently (20 years) in the San Joaquin Valley, California

I have lived in Orange County, California, since 1970. It's interesting to read that the two areas of the United States with the highest incidence of breast cancer are Long Island, New York and Orange County, California. Two farming communities with population explosions -- Long Island's following WWII, and Orange County in the 1970s and onward. They are now finding high rates of cancer in the San Joaquin Valley, the agricultural center of California.

There's no doubt in my mind that the pesticides are to blame.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:18 AM
 
1,775 posts, read 3,949,218 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eternitarian View Post
There's no doubt in my mind that the pesticides are to blame.
What do you feel about genetics playing a huge role in this as well?
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:02 AM
 
1,876 posts, read 107,274 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by eternitarian View Post
My parents moved to Syosset in 1945, when I was little more than a year old. Potato farms and blackberry patches. My mother died from breast cancer at the age of 47, having lived in Syosset for 19 years. One of my sisters died from inflammatory breast cancer at the age of 48, having lived in Syosset for 20 years, then in Hicksville and Levittown. Another sister, age 59, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, 40 years in Syosset; presently (20 years) in the San Joaquin Valley, California

I have lived in Orange County, California, since 1970. It's interesting to read that the two areas of the United States with the highest incidence of breast cancer are Long Island, New York and Orange County, California. Two farming communities with population explosions -- Long Island's following WWII, and Orange County in the 1970s and onward. They are now finding high rates of cancer in the San Joaquin Valley, the agricultural center of California.

There's no doubt in my mind that the pesticides are to blame.

Cant deny the pesticide connetion between LI and OC.

As the governator says

"Its not a tooooooooooooooma'


Are you coming back Blue sky?

C
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:35 AM
 
245 posts, read 13,585 times
Reputation: 43
Default Epidemiology is pretty good

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueSkyHoliday View Post
This was mentioned within another recent thread, in connection with specific towns on Long Island.

I wasn't aware of this before, so I did a lot of Googling about it today. I don't mean to denigrate anything about the subject, but I still don't understand how these studies can possibly prove anything about whether or not cancer is a higher risk on Long Island (or certain towns in it) than elsewhere.

Unless the study results were broken down to separate people who have lived on Long Island (or in certain towns on Long Island) according to how long they've lived in that place, and what their genetic cancer risks are, and what lifestyle risks (like smoking) they have, etc -- I don't see how anyone can reasonably conclude that living on Long Island (or in a certain town) constitutes a cancer risk. All the studies seem to show is that at the time they were done, more people were diagnosed with cancer WHILE they were living in a certain place -- which isn't the same as saying that the place they are living in CONTRIBUTED to them getting cancer.
I do understand your reasoning here, but your suspicions, statistically, are probably incorrect. It isn't as if someone decided to take a snapshot of Long Island, thus making a one-time comparison with national averages. The ways these studies are done is that occurances of cancer are found in clusters to be higher than average. While people with cancer may have been choosing to move to Long Island, it is important to note that people move everywhere, and the assumption is that this movement is random, in the sense that people with cancer aren't any more likely than those without to move to the same place at the same time. Plus, studies can control in their models for the increased likelihood of people, in general, to move to higher priced, urbanized areas. Therefore, the tendency of a place like New York to draw MORE people shouldn't influence the study's outcome either.

Now, one would have to argue that there is reason to believe that people with cancer are moving to the same area of Long Island. There is a possibility of this, though it is highly improbable. Instead, a sustained presence of greater-than-average cancer incidences is pretty solid evidence of the presence of a catalyst existing there as opposed to elsewhere.

The quotation is right, that the link has not yet been established. That is the dirty thing about science is that you can never prove causality - ever. You can only develop highly predictible theories that sustain themselves against efforts to falsify them. Still, the presence of a cancer cluster is pretty convincing to me that something about a place is unhealthy. And if a corporate or public official suggests otherwise, they surely intend to mislead.
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Old 10-13-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Orange County, CA
3 posts, read 36,538 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glad2BHere View Post
What do you feel about genetics playing a huge role in this as well?
I agree. I do believe there is a familial connection -- exacerbated by pollutants in the air, ground, and water, as well as home products and personal products. The government regulatory agencies that are supposed to be watching out for us aren't. My sisters and I are participating in the Sister Study -- a study examining the connection to industrial/farming waste.

As an aside to the genetic connection, my oldest son was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at the age of 29. He passed away 3 months before his 31st birthday. I've read that the breast cancer gene and the colon cancer gene lie next to one another on the DNA.
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Old 10-13-2007, 01:09 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
7,852 posts, read 12,086,331 times
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I'm so sorry about your son. How terrible for you.

And, I agree no one is looking out for us. Too busy with other things, I guess.
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Old 05-18-2008, 08:20 PM
 
1 posts, read 16,560 times
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I grew up in Levittown, NY & my mother died 5 years ago of breast cancer @ the young age of 49. My father died 2 yrs. ago of granulocytic sarcoma @ 56 yrs. old(a very rare form of cancer) related to acute myelogenic leukemia. Two days ago I was diagnosed with Lymphoma @ 34. I haven't finished testing & don't know what kind or stage I'm in yet. If there is anyone out there who can tell me anything about themselves...please do so. I lived on Turn Lane in Levittown. Please contact me. Thank you.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:04 AM
 
38 posts, read 113,896 times
Reputation: 23
It seems there very well may be a link between environmental factors and cancer...it may be hard to ever know. Of course we all know there are familial links to cancer incidence.

I actually asked my OB and my internist their thoughts about the cancer clusters on LI. They both said exactly the same thing...that LI is highly populated and most of the people in these areas are quite affluent...therefore having access to good medical care. Their cancer is found early and "put on the record", whereas people in poorer areas go for long periods of time without treatment or even die from cancer without ever seeing a doctor..

Who knows....live well and pray alot!
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Old 11-23-2009, 02:31 PM
 
1 posts, read 13,390 times
Reputation: 10
I am 30 y/o and I was just Diagnosed with Breast Cancer. i lived on a farm in Old Brookville, and then moved to Huntington at a young age. Huntington is also known as a cancer cluster area. I had an aunt who lived in Huntington most of her life who battled it all her life and died at 62y/o form it. None of the other cancers in my family were breast. None were found to be genetic either. You can now have a simple blood test to determine whether or not you carry the BRAC1 or BRAC2 gene. There is no doubt in my mind it is environmentally related. I have an interest in speaking to anyone who seeks to find the truth about these links or just wants to share their thoughts about being diagnosed and dealing with all the pain that comes along with your struggles. Please feel free to contact me

Moderator cut: I am so sorry, but please have people DM you instead of using your e-mail address here. Also, we do have a forum to discuss cancer on City-data (under Health) . Please take care.

Last edited by nancy thereader; 11-23-2009 at 08:49 PM..
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