Monday, October 05, 2015

More on Cancer Clusters in Miami-Dade: Do Not Seek And Ye Shall Not Find ... by gimleteye

Back in August 2009, I wrote, "Do Not Seek And Ye Shall Not Find: The Story of Florida and Cancer Clusters". I quoted the Palm Beach Post on the topic of clusters, related to its controversial coverage of The Acreage and residents' heart-wrenching testimony that they lived amidst a cancer cluster: "The Post noted in what seemed to me an extraordinary admission for the mainstream media: "Sometimes they find a cause. Often they don't. Frequently, politics trumps science."

I added, six years ago: " ... in Florida, in the quest to protect the public and public health, politics does trump science. Leaders of the Florida legislature like former Senate president Ken Pruitt and governors like Jeb Bush quickly and rapidly buried any talk, discussion, or investigation about the standards of inquiry or science and resources dedicated to proactively dealing with chemicals and toxics in the environment, or, cancer clusters."

In June 2015, I wrote another column, even more widely distributed: "Cancer Clusters in Florida: The Silence of the State". I quoted a 2014 study and follow-up review by some of the nation's foremost statisticians: "“In south Florida, the cluster encompasses the southwest, south central and southeast regions where “… compared with the state, there is a statistically significant 36% increased risk of childhood cancer."

The column concluded:
"I recently submitted two questions to the Florida Department of Health: 1) In a recent journal of the American Statistical Association, Dr. Lance Waller summarized the results of five independent statistical analyses of cancer data in Florida. What is the DOH response to that report? 2) Pediatric Blood Cancer 2010 published an earlier study, “Epidemiological Mapping of Florida Childhood Cancer Clusters”. What was the DOH response to that article, at the time and has the position of DOH changed or is it the same? In response, I received the following statement: “The Florida Department of Health cannot comment on the two studies mentioned as we have not had adequate time to review.”

Three months have passed. It is now October and the State of Florida has still not responded.

Last week, the state's chief epidemiologist, Dr. Sharon Watkins, resigned. Where is Miami-Dade County government and its leadership on this political issue: the need to investigate pediatric cancer clusters as demonstrated by statistical evidence?

Why is Mayor Carlos Gimenez silent?

At the very least, the mayor ought to convene a group of the region's top hospital CEO's to examine, themselves, the state's silence. Maybe that would budge what is surely the most tone-deaf governship in the history of Florida.

Mayor Gimenez is now in a re-election campaign, hoovering campaign cash from donors whose wealth -- it bears emphasis -- does not shield them or their children from cancer. Gimenez claims to be "keeping his promises" to voters. But does his campaign theme extend to protecting the health and welfare of children in Miami-Dade county from cancer clusters in our midst? Silence.

Finally, where is the mainstream media on this subject!? For God's sakes, people, this topic should not be ventilated on a blog. The media covers car crashes, robberies, hurricanes and other tragedies. Why, nothing about cancer clusters? Why?


Impeachment Diane said...

Would it help if someone sent the facts to a national media person who does good investigative reporting? I watch NBC and MSNBC. This is breast cancer awareness month. They give a lot of time to this subject which they should. I don't know who their medical editor is anymore, but it used to be an attractive woman physician and she went after stories and even got involved in ebola. I don't trust any of the local reporters to pick up on this. Maybe someone at Sylvester or UM would be interested.

cyndi said...

The medical person at NBC was horrible. I don't even know what's happening over there. The Today show is downright bizarre, they running things without any research. Every day at 7:10 there was an Hillary email update. Matt and Savannah really asking horrid stupid questions. I have bunch of shows i taped to look at the sponsors. Chuck Todd's meet the Press is a Republican showcase. There's more I wrote it down somewhere in my notes.
I used to work with Dr Kari Shridar when it was the Comprehensive Cancer Center -i'm sure there is someone over there that is interested. Who knows whats in those wells. He had a daughter who is also doctor but I'm not sure if she does cancer research. He was an amazing compassionate cancer doctor and dedicated researcher.
Remember Anthrax. The day it was reported everywhere that Bob got it from the water. (Bob the editor that died) We emailed Jeb's office and told him you can't get it from the water. I had a bunch of veterinarians call because most regular doctors were clueless. The person in charge of the Palm Beach County Health department repeated this over and over until the govenors office gave her the correct information. Then even after being given the correct information wanted to deny the other employees nasal swabs to if they had anthrax but the employees insisted and many people were found with spores in their noses. We ran out of the two antibiotics to treat. Ran Out! Everyone wanted to take the antibiotic just in case it was someplace else in Boca.
I understand your frustration. The behavoir of Florida is unacceptable. It's been this way for a long time.
For year and years we've had sugar burning the glades where the most vulnerable people live.