Updated cancer investigation results released

State health officials have conducted a new investigation of cancer occurrences in Flower Mound, updating a previous study done last year by including more recent cancer data.

From 2008-2010, leukemia and lymphoma cases fell within the expected ranges for zip codes 75022 and 75028, according to the report.  However, the number of cases of breast cancer in females was statistically higher than average.

“The increase in incidence of breast cancer is likely due to the rapid increase in Flower Mound’s population over the last decade, a 41 percent increase in population from 1999-2008,” said Christine Mann, with the Department of State Health Services

Since the expected number of cases in Flower Mound was calculated on the basis of population data from the 2000 Census, the breast cancer result likely underestimated the number of expected cases, according to the report.

Last year, concern about a possible cancer cluster by Flower Mound residents prompted the Texas Department of State Health Services to examine the occurrence of cancer in the 75022 and 75028 zip codes from 1999 to 2008.

A cancer cluster is defined as a greater than expected number of cancers among people who live or work in the same area and who develop or die from the same cancer within a short time of each other, according to the National Cancer Institute.

The original concerns were related to fears that benzene was coming from area gas drilling and could be causing cancer.  The initial cancers focused on were leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  Subsequent concerns included breast cancer and childhood brain/central nervous system (CNS) cancer.

“We understand residents’ concerns and will continue to monitor and confirm the number of cancers diagnosed in Flower Mound residents,” said Mann.

Read the report here.

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