FARMINGVILLE, Long Island (WABC) -- The New York State Department of Health has announced a series of public meetings to discuss studies of cancer clusters in certain regions, including three on Long Island and one on Staten Island.
Studies of data in the New York State Cancer Registry found that Centereach, Farmingville and Selden had statistically significant rates of leukemia, bladder cancer, lung cancer and thyroid cancer.
Staten Island, meanwhile, has the highest incidence rate for all cancers combined among the five New York City boroughs. A major focus of this investigation will be on thyroid cancer, which was significantly elevated compared to the state as a whole.
The registry is an ongoing statistical record of cancer the state that covers the past 75 years based on demographic, diagnostic and cancer prevalence. All cases of cancer that are diagnosed in the state are reported to the registry.
"We are fortunate in New York state to have one of the highest quality cancer registries in the country, and we have been collecting patient data for over 75 years," New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said. "This well-established record, as well as local level data analysis to examine patterns and trends in these communities, will help to further inform our cancer control strategies and improve patient outcomes by promoting access to appropriate care."
The public meeting on the new Long Island findings will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Stony Brook from 7 to 9 p.m. on July 17, while the public meeting for Staten Island will be at the same date and time at CUNY College of Staten Island.
The other meetings will be held in Glens Falls in Warren County and East Buffalo/Western Cheektowaga in Erie County.
The goals of the studies are to further understand contributing factors for higher rates of cancer in various regions of the state and to also better inform cancer prevention and screening efforts and promote access to high-quality care. Demographics and socioeconomic status of an area, behavioral and lifestyle factors such as smoking, and the occupational and industrial background of each area are considered.
The Department of Environmental Conservation is also consulted to identify sources of data on environmental factors that have been associated with the cancers under investigation and on any unusual environmental exposures in the areas of study.