Time for action on cancer risks
October 22. 2017 10:35PM
To the Editor: Dr. Benjamin Chan has again confirmed that there is a CDC-defined cancer cluster on the Seacoast. Now it is time for the newly formed Commission on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation to build upon the dedicated, quality work of the Governor’s Pediatric Cancer Cluster Task Force and take action to reduce pediatric cancer risk.
Yes, it was alarming and tragic to learn that the Seacoast met the CDC definition of a cancer cluster — a statistically significantly higher than expected number of cases, of a specific cancer (rhabdomyosarcoma or RMS) in five Seacoast towns. It was also alarming to learn that another pediatric cancer of the lung (PPB) was found to be statistically significantly higher than expected in these same towns.
Gov. Sununu signed HB 484 into legislation creating the Commission on the Seacoast Cancer Cluster Investigation. Now is the time for the Commission to focus all of its efforts on actions, not on definitions. The Seacoast community sincerely hopes that once Commission members have had time to review the Task Force recommendations, they will undertake their statutory responsibility to our children. We are grateful to the Task Force for its diligent and dedicated efforts to finding answers for parents of children with cancer. Parents and our entire community hope that the commission will continue this vital work and focus on researching and recommending actions we can take to prevent and reduce the risk of cancer in our children.