Investigation sought in cancer cases near university : The Morn...

Full story: The Morning Call

Investigation sought in cancer cases near university Susquehanna claims students are safe, but concerns over former industrial site continue.
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History Buff

Burlington, MA

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#1
Mar 5, 2007
 
If someone posts that it is Second Hand Smoke causing this , they need to have their head examined!
anon

New York, NY

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#2
Mar 5, 2007
 
Have there been other types off illness reported that are not cancer related?
SuAlum301

United States

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#3
Mar 5, 2007
 
I find it highly ironic that the University is doing the exact opposite of what we were taught about social responsibility in every business class I ever had there. It is really disgraceful that such a disproportionate percentage of young men and women are dying, and they don't seem to care about the well-being of current and former students by helping out. I'm just glad I didn't live anywhere near that building while I was there. The current administration needs the axe, and this is only the latest example. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mrs. Kadel and the reporter for their efforts.
SuAlum301

United States

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#4
Mar 5, 2007
 
I'm glad the public is just beginning to figure out that the school has lack of concern for anything other than their image. The students have known that for years.
Frank

Emmaus, PA

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#5
Mar 5, 2007
 
I'm not sure what you're asking here. Such as what, for example?

Isn't bone cancer serious enough?
anon wrote:
Have there been other types off illness reported that are not cancer related?
anon

New York, NY

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#6
Mar 5, 2007
 
Frank wrote:
I'm not sure what you're asking here. Such as what, for example?
Isn't bone cancer serious enough?
<quoted text>
Yes, it is all quite serious. I was a student at Susquehanna and lived a few blocks away from the area in question. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 1995 and had 3 related surgeries. Certainly cancer is far more serious, as my condition is not fatal, but i am curious if there are other illnesses that could be potentially related.
Frank

Emmaus, PA

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#7
Mar 5, 2007
 
Good question...and I don't know the answer. So far, the studies seem to only point to a correlation to the cancers and won't go so far as to pinpoint a causation. As such, I don't think they'd be able (or willing) to broaden the scope to include other diseases.

Keep asking good questions. I hope one day we get some answers.
anon wrote:
<quoted text>Yes, it is all quite serious. I was a student at Susquehanna and lived a few blocks away from the area in question. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 1995 and had 3 related surgeries. Certainly cancer is far more serious, as my condition is not fatal, but i am curious if there are other illnesses that could be potentially related.
Ron377

Schnecksville, PA

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#8
Mar 6, 2007
 
Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues that over 5 million women in America are currently dealing with. The average age of these women is 27 years old. The cause is unknown but might be genetic and definitely relative to the age of first pregnancy. So just take a deep breath and be grateful that you are alive and well. I know that Susquehanna is worried about its image but I believe if there is more to this it will all come out. Just remember that newspapers are in business to make a story....which is usually done by scaring people.
2005 SU alum

Northampton, PA

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#9
Mar 6, 2007
 
I'm disappointed that this study was going on while I was at SU and no one mentioned ANYTHING! I have friends that lived at the warehouse while this study was going on. I also have many friends that spent many hours at the warehouse (it was the big party spot when I was in school.) This is a huge problem in my eyes. Why did the school allow people to still live there if there was any question about it, especially if there was enough of a question for the school to do a study.

The emails that I received as an alum from SU about this situation reassured us that there was nothing to be worried about. Looking at the statistics, I am worried. Luckily, even though I had friends at the warehouse and in the general vicinity of the warehouse I never went there and only walked past there a few times in my four years at Susquehanna. I think the situation was handled poorly.

Along with the question about other illnesses I'm curious if anyone that has spent time in the area has experienced any birth defects.

Ron, please don't belittle anon's endometriosis. Yes, it isn't that uncommon. Some of the cancers that were found aren't that unconnom but that doesn't mean that it wasn't possibly triggered by something in the area. I think a full investigation needs to be done. I don't know any alums that have been contacted about health issues that could be connected to the possible contamination in the area.
SuAlum301

United States

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#10
Mar 6, 2007
 
An investigation hasn't been done because SU would rather not have one be done. They'd rather brush it under the rug. I don't blame them, it's just not the ethical thing to do. If I knew what I knew now when I was a high school senior, I would have never gone there. That's what their reaction is all about... money!
anon

New York, NY

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#11
Mar 6, 2007
 
Ron377 wrote:
Endometriosis is one of the most common health issues that over 5 million women in America are currently dealing with. The average age of these women is 27 years old. The cause is unknown but might be genetic and definitely relative to the age of first pregnancy. So just take a deep breath and be grateful that you are alive and well. I know that Susquehanna is worried about its image but I believe if there is more to this it will all come out. Just remember that newspapers are in business to make a story....which is usually done by scaring people.
I appreciate your comments and I am well aware of the scare tactics used to prey upon an uninformed and frightened public. I am neither uninformed or frightened. I am relieved and grateful that my health issues are not as dire as those reported. However, as a former student that lived so close to the area in question I think my inquiry is valid.
anon

New York, NY

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#12
Mar 6, 2007
 
2005 SU alum wrote:
Ron, please don't belittle anon's endometriosis. Yes, it isn't that uncommon. Some of the cancers that were found aren't that unconnom but that doesn't mean that it wasn't possibly triggered by something in the area. I think a full investigation needs to be done. I don't know any alums that have been contacted about health issues that could be connected to the possible contamination in the area.
thank you for your support. I am aware, obviously, of how common my disease is having suffered with it for more than 14 years. Your point is well received here. A full investigation that tracks the health issues of former students that lived in or frequented the area should be required.
SUalum 2004

Philadelphia, PA

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#13
Mar 7, 2007
 
Actually investigations have been done. A FORMAL investigation has not been done by the STATE because the STATE does not think that there is reason to do so. Go to SU's website ( http://info.susqu.edu/ )to see what has been done on their part. Or for that matter goggle search the topic and read some other articles on the topic. Most of the articles say teh same thing...SU has conducted tests that have not concluded that there is any correlation, but the state is considering about maybe possibly conducting a formal investigation. And since no one wants to believe what SU has to say on the topic, they should be pressuring the state to step in and take an active role.
SUAlum 2004

Philadelphia, PA

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#14
Mar 7, 2007
 
I would like to see cancer incidence rates for 1978-1989 (the 12 years preceding the hazardous spill). It is possible that while these numbers are alarming they may not be far off from the "normal" cancer rates for SU students.
Also...what kind of cancer did these students die from. The case for negligence on the part of SU would be a lot stronger if all (or most) of the students had the same type of cancer or better yet the same type of RARE cancer.
I need more info before I draw a conclusion or run off to the doctor's office.
2005 SU alum

Northampton, PA

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#15
Mar 7, 2007
 
Alum 2004, the only problem with your question about kinds of cancer is the fact that benzene (the chemical that is possibly to blame) causes a number of kinds of cancer (along with other health issues.)

Mostly, from benzene, we're looking at lymphoma and bone cancers (which are some of the types documented that students have.) There are also birth defects associated with benzene.

My suggestion, look it up and make your own determination.

I would like the state to do something about this. They're saying because the cancers aren't the same type they don't classify as a "cancer cluster" even though precident had been set in at least two other cases where the type of cancer was irrelevant.
SUAlum 2004

Philadelphia, PA

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#16
Mar 8, 2007
 
2005 SU alum wrote:
Alum 2004, the only problem with your question about kinds of cancer is the fact that benzene (the chemical that is possibly to blame) causes a number of kinds of cancer (along with other health issues.)
Mostly, from benzene, we're looking at lymphoma and bone cancers (which are some of the types documented that students have.) There are also birth defects associated with benzene.
My suggestion, look it up and make your own determination.
I would like the state to do something about this. They're saying because the cancers aren't the same type they don't classify as a "cancer cluster" even though precident had been set in at least two other cases where the type of cancer was irrelevant.
2005 Alum...I don't think I fully explained my reason for wanting to know the types of cancers involved. If students that smoke cigarettes get lung cancer that's no suprise. If students that went tanning every week for ten years get skin cancer that's no surprise either. Cancer in and of itself is becoming more and more common as most of us are not taking good care of ourselves.

But if the cancers involved have NO correlation to anything else that the students were doing in their lives then there is definitely reason to be up in arms.

I work in a research lab with carcinogenic chemicals all the time. With the proper precautions I should be fine, but we are never as careful as we think we are. So if I develop cancer 10 or 20 years from now I would be more likely to attribute it to the 10 or 20 years that I spent working in a lab than to the 4 years I spent at SU.

If all of the 18 students developed cancerous tumors in their mouths and all of the students chewed chewing tobacco (and yes I knew students that chewed chewing tobacco when I was there) then the fact that all of the students went to SU is merely a coincidence...and the cancer was undoubtedly caused by chewing tobacco.

Bottom line...we need more information before we can really draw any rational conclusions.
Selinsgrove Resident

Selinsgrove, PA

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#17
Mar 8, 2007
 
History Buff wrote:
If someone posts that it is Second Hand Smoke causing this , they need to have their head examined!
I guess I need my head examined since if you live with a smoker for 67 days you are inhaling the equivalent amount of benzene as if you drank one liter of water from the Rhodes Mill sample cited in the newspaper article (4,260 micrograms/liter). Living with a smoker exposes one to 63 micrograms of benzene every day (assuming a pack a day habit on the part of the smoker). If you smoke a pack and half of cigarettes, then you just inhaled the equivalent of that same one liter of water from the Rhodes Mill site. The scientific ignorance that I've seen on these blogs is appalling. I only wish reporters were as concerned with presenting unbiased scientific evidence as they are tugging at the heart-strings of parents.
skeptical citizen

Selinsgrove, PA

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#18
Mar 8, 2007
 
The map of cancer cases that was published in Sunday's Patriot News article was certainly alarming at first glance, as it was intentionally crafted to be. However, were any of the areas outside of the "warehouse" vicinity systematically sampled? I live in the borough and I was not contacted. Nor were my neighbors. If you only look in one area for cancer, that is obviously the only place it will be found. It doesn't take a scientist to know this. Ford Turner's article shows both scientific illiteracy and yellow journalism.
skeptical citizen

Selinsgrove, PA

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#19
Mar 8, 2007
 
Linda Kadel is looking for the truth. The Patriot-News has failed to provide that. Instead they report an emotional plea, devoid of any scientific evidence. Hereís what we do know: There are currently approximately 115 superfund sites in the state of NJ, 86 superfund sites in the state of NY, and 94 superfund sites in the state of Pennsylvania ( http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites ). Many of these sites are known to have toxins that have leached into the groundwater. Of the superfund sites in the state of PA, none are found in Snyder County, Union County, or Northumberland County. If there does turn out to be a higher than expected rate of cancer among SU students relative to the community, it might be because they have grown up and spent 18 years in environmentally-contaminated parts of the country. Linda Kadel for example is from Arlington, NJ, in Morris County, which has one of the highest densities of superfund sites in the country. If she is seeking environmental causes of her sonís cancer, which there may in fact be, she may be well-served looking closer to home.

Environmental carcinogens are a serious problem. Fetal toxicology reports provide evidence that alarming rates of toxins are found in us at birth. They are also found in the breast milk of nursing mothers. Further, testicular cancer sometimes be detected in the uterus and takes 20 to 30 years to develop. A recent national geographic article showed that humans have hundreds of toxins in their bodies that were never meant to be ingested or inhaled, many are known to cause cancer and/or birth defects.
Frank

United States

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#20
Mar 8, 2007
 
If your theory is right, shouldn't the cancer rate of Susquehanna students roughly match that of other PA/NJ colleges?
skeptical citizen wrote:
Linda Kadel is looking for the truth. The Patriot-News has failed to provide that. Instead they report an emotional plea, devoid of any scientific evidence. Hereís what we do know: There are currently approximately 115 superfund sites in the state of NJ, 86 superfund sites in the state of NY, and 94 superfund sites in the state of Pennsylvania ( http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites ). Many of these sites are known to have toxins that have leached into the groundwater. Of the superfund sites in the state of PA, none are found in Snyder County, Union County, or Northumberland County. If there does turn out to be a higher than expected rate of cancer among SU students relative to the community, it might be because they have grown up and spent 18 years in environmentally-contaminated parts of the country. Linda Kadel for example is from Arlington, NJ, in Morris County, which has one of the highest densities of superfund sites in the country. If she is seeking environmental causes of her sonís cancer, which there may in fact be, she may be well-served looking closer to home.
Environmental carcinogens are a serious problem. Fetal toxicology reports provide evidence that alarming rates of toxins are found in us at birth. They are also found in the breast milk of nursing mothers. Further, testicular cancer sometimes be detected in the uterus and takes 20 to 30 years to develop. A recent national geographic article showed that humans have hundreds of toxins in their bodies that were never meant to be ingested or inhaled, many are known to cause cancer and/or birth defects.

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