State Investigation Finds No Cancer Cluster in Valley Center; Some Local Residents Dispute Report
State health officials said this month that an investigation has found no childhood cancer cluster in Valley Center, but some local residents question the report, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. A committee of state cancer and environmental experts, which also included four local residents, launched the investigation last year. According to a report from state health officials, doctors have diagnosed eight children with leukemia, brain tumors or other cancers in the Valley Center area -- two fewer than the number that the state considers "statistically significant" evidence of a cancer cluster -- between 1997 and 2001. However, Kerry Carr, a community member on the committee, conducted an independent survey and found that 17 area children had developed cancer. Carr said that state health officials did not include several children diagnosed with cancer -- two who moved out of the area, one who resides in the area but has a different ZIP code, one diagnosed at age 20, two who had benign brain tumors and a few unconfirmed cases -- in the investigation. The state has not closed the investigation, and area residents on the committee plan to meet with officials to discuss the issue in four months, Carr said (Millay, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4/24).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.