Officials find no evidence of cancer cluster
DORAL, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Miami-Dade Health Department said a South Florida neighborhood does not meet the criteria of having a cancer cluster, after conducting several tests.
The Miami-Dade County commission ordered the health department to conduct a study in the area of Northwest 36th Avenue and 86th Street after many people in the area were diagnosed with cancer.
According to the health department, there were 634 patients diagnosed, with 693 cancer cases, from 2000 through 2010. "We did an initial letter to the community letting them know that we were studying this, and now we will respond back to the community," said Miami-Dade Health Department Dr. Lillian Rivera.
The study conducted looked back at data from the year 2000. They said there is no indication that the number of newly diagnosed cancer cases increased in recent years.
The health department conducted a study and concluded that there is no cancer cluster in the area. "The conclusion definitely is that we have not found or identified a cancer cluster in this neighborhood," said Dr. Rivera.
Residents have been concerned because of what they call health risks and rising cancer rates. "Most of the people here are the same neighbors for 20, 30 years. And we never had this problem before," said resident Isis Lovado.
Dr. Rivera said, "The Center for the Disease Control is very, very specific on the definition of what is considered a cancer cluster. Our specialist in the area of the Epidemiology of cancer have studied the area very well, based on the cancer registry information that we have and based on the incidents and based on many other methodologies that they utilize, and, at the end of the day, they have found that this community does not identify as a cancer cluster."
Lovado said, "Most of the people here are old. She has a problem, my mother has a problem ... so related or not, I don't know, because we don't have in our hands the proof, but we are concerned," she said.
Cancer is the second leading cause of death in Florida.
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