A new Texas Department of State Health Services analysis of Flower Mound cancer data has found that, with the exception of breast cancer, cancer numbers in the city’s two primary zip codes are not higher than what was expected for 2002 to 2011.
Consistent with previous analyses, female breast cancer had a higher than expected number of cases in the area. Risk factors for breast cancer include family history, lifestyle choices and other factors such as gender and age. Populations screened for cancer more frequently can yield more cases.
The analysis also found:
• The expected number of leukemia, brain/central nervous system and liver cancers in children.
• The expected number of breast cancer in males.
• The expected number of leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in males and females.
DSHS broadened its analysis from previous years to include more cancer types, updated cancer and population data, two confidence intervals rather than one, and the most recent range of available years. DSHS added childhood liver cancers to this analysis due to community concerns about the cancer type.
DSHS previously released reports in 2010 and 2011 analyzing childhood and overall leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, childhood brain cancer and female breast cancer in Flower Mound. The reports were based on Texas Cancer Registry data from 1998 to 2007 and from 1999 to 2008. The findings showed that the incidence of all but breast cancer was not higher than expected.
Given ongoing community concerns, DSHS will continue to monitor cancer incidence in the area.
DSHS cancer analyses follow accepted scientific and statistical methods and are led by epidemiologists and cancer data experts. The number of individual cancer cases can fluctuate significantly from year to year, particularly with rarer cancers and in small geographic areas.
While Texas cancer cluster investigations typically use the 99 percent confidence interval, the results of this year’s analysis were calculated also using the 95 percent confidence interval due to public concerns that previous parameters were too stringent. The wider confidence interval did not yield different results.
DSHS is the agency responsible for state cancer cluster investigations and has conducted more than 400 cancer cluster investigations since 2000. The agency’s Texas Cancer Registry has more than 2 million records of cancer patients. It is the primary source of Texas cancer data and is the fourth-largest registry in the U.S. The Texas Cancer Registry was authorized by the Texas Legislature in 1989.
The 2014 report is available at: www.dshs.state.tx.us/epitox/CancerClusters/2014_FlowerMound.pdf