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Clyde Cancer Clusters Scares Ohio Town, Whole State

Chad W. Lutz
CLYDE,OHIO – Cancer is one of those things where whenever it rears its head back and roars, people listen. Unfortunately, there have been a lot of reports lately citing this to be far too exceptionally true in one small Ohio town. Residents of rural Clyde, Ohio are beginning to wonder if there is something in the water, or food, or air. The cause of all this commotion is a reported cluster of cancer cases that has both area officials and parents starting to feel like they’re under attack.

As of 2009, Cancer was the second leading cause of death among Americans second only to heart disease. The third leading cause is stroke. In that year, cancer claimed the life of nearly 700,000 people nationwide and is a threat to millions of Americans on a daily basis. Here in Ohio, cancer is just another ugly form of heartbreak that threatens to tear families apart.

In a community whose past already has a brush with tragedy, the small town of just over 6,000 residents has seen a spike in cancer diagnosis over the last fourteen years, especially in kids. Since 1996, there have been nearly 40 diagnosed cases of child cancer, including brain tumors and lymphoma among the many other types that have been found.

Investigators have set up numerous tests to try and pinpoint the cause of the spike in cancers, most of them coming between 2002 and 2006. Eight children were diagnosed with cancer during this time-period, which state health officials are saying is almost double the normal reported figure. The American Cancer Society reported that most of the cases involved cancers of the brain and nervous system, which might point researchers and officials in the right direction, but is still only speculative at best at this stage. Many want answers. Others just want it to stop. But the overall consensus is that something is sinisterly wrong, and it’s costing kids’ lives. Much to the surprise of many, only a handful of residents have moved out of the town since reports first started surfacing.

Already, tests have been set up to monitor air purity in the area, but so far have only come back negative. The Ohio Department of Health was set to release results of a 2010 health survey late last month that might have shed some light on the situation, but consistent delays have pushed the release back to later this month.

Visit the CDC and American Cancer Society websites for more information on child cancer and how early screening can help prevent certain types of cancer.
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