DHEC: No Reason To Believe Cancer Cluster Exists in Mount Pleasant

June 29, 2017, 1:10 pm EST | Share:

MOUNT PLEASANT, SC (WTAT-TV) — We are following new information about a story we first brought you earlier this week – parents who are concerned about rare cancer cases in multiple Mount Pleasant neighborhoods.

RELATED: Residents Want Answers After 11 People Were Diagnosed with Similar Rare Brain Tumors in Mt Pleasant

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed to FOX 24 that this is not a cancer cluster.

Brainstem tumors, like the ones diagnosed, are incredibly rare. Doctors say only about 300 cases are diagnosed nationwide each year and it’s hard to pinpoint the cause because of how dangerous these tumors are.

“With this particular kind of tumor we are at a disadvantage. These tumors occur in the brainstem so it can be very hard for surgeons to get a tissue diagnosis for it,” explained Dr. Ashley Sumrall, M.D., DACP, Section Chair of Neuro-oncology for Levine Cancer Institute.

She went on to say the chances of water or air quality contributing to this type is brain tumor is almost zero.

We also checked with the National Cancer Institute who said the recent number of brain cancer cases in Charleston County is considered stable. They noted a 4% decrease, though, over the past five years.

DHEC officials released the following statement on the matter Wednesday saying “DHEC staff’s sympathies are with these individuals and their families who are fighting to overcome this terrible disease. The results of the Community Cancer Assessments (CCA) conducted for children ages (0-19) and the population at large for the Mt. Pleasant area, using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, do not indicate a cancer cluster.”