2008.08.xx – Weird- Cancer Cluster in Northeastern PA


Weird: Cancer Cluster in Northeastern PA

On Monday, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry confirmed an elevated number of cases of polycythemia vera, or PV, in a region 80 miles northwest of Philadelphia. Residents in the affected 20-mile stretch of area are four times as likely to suffer from PV as residents living in outlying areas, according to the government.

“It remains the first and only cluster of PV ever recorded in the U.S., though the condition became reportable to state cancer registries only in 2001, and officials said it’s statistically likely there are others,” the Associated Press reports.

This “cancer cluster” in the northeastern Pennsylvania region is home to Superfund sites and a power plant fired by waste coal. But nobody is sure if there’s a connection. “We don’t want to give the message that there are no connections,” said researcher Vince Seaman. “We just don’t have the data.”