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Nz s - Eye cancer cluster affects dozens in North Carolina Video


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:An eye cancer cluster has affected nearly two dozen people and killed four within a 25-mile radius of a North Carolina town over the last decade - and experts have no idea what's causing it.Ocular melanoma is a form of eye cancer that affects five in one million and is typically found in men in their 60s, but more than half of those diagnosed in Huntersville are women in their 30s or younger.The most recent case was discovered five miles away in November when a 37-year-old woman was diagnosed with the eye tumor while eight months pregnant, leading to a complete removal of her eye.Researchers have not been able to pinpoint exactly what's causing the cluster and Dr Brennan, the ophthalmologist leading the efforts, told Daily Mail Online: 'In all of our studies we’ve never found an environmental or genetic factor.’A $100,000 grant was given to Dr Brennan in April to conduct a geospacial study on patients to find the commonality between them.The study is examining 18 patients within a 15-mile radius, 13 of who are women and will follow their geographical history.It well then stretch the boundaries to patients diagnosed 25 miles away, 15 of who are women.This came after tests done on the soil and water at Hopewell High School, where three of the patients attended, came up negative for any harmful toxins.A genetic study later found that there were no hereditary causes for the disease.Sue Colbert, the mother of one of the women who died, told Daily Mail Online that she is still looking for answers after tests failed to determine the cause of the cancer that killed her daughter Kenan when she was 28.Mrs Colbert said she is hoping that the geospacial study will provide answers. 'I’m hopeful that Dr Brennan will be able to pinpoint some way that our lives interconnect and find some place in the environment that is a bull's-eye for this disease.'She and her husband Kenny are still grappling with the loss of their daughter, who was one of the first diagnosed with ocular melanoma in the area in 2009.‘We don’t believe this is coincidental. There are too many cases in our community of a rare cancer that was considered an ''orphan cancer'' when we first learned about it,' she said.Ocular melanoma is a malignant tumor in the eye that can spread to other parts of the body and is especially dangerous if it reaches the liver. The disease is diagnosed in about 2,500 adults in the US each year.The first cases of the disease that raised alarms came a decade ago when three women who had attended Hopewell High School in Huntersville were diagnosed in their 20s.Kenan Koll was 23 when she began experiencing blurred vision and after new contacts and glasses could not fix her eyesight, a trip to the ophthalmologist diagnosed her with ocular melanoma in February 2009.A year after having her eye removed, she learned that the cancer had spread to her liver, killing her by 2014.Meredith Legg was two grades below Kenan at Hopewell High School and was also diagnosed in 2009.Meredi Nz News - Eye cancer cluster affects dozens in North Carolina Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5236319/Eye-cancer-cluster-affects-dozens-North-Carolina.html?ITO=1490&ns_mchannel=rss&ns_campaign=1490
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