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High Number of Cancer Cases in Moss Point Draws Attention of Memphis Group

By Rhonda Miller | Published 14 Jun 2012 04:32pm | comments
A state map showing the cases of cancer by county is on the website of the Mississippi Cancer Registry maintained by the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

A Memphis-based civil rights group is looking into informal reports of an unusually high number of cancer cases in Moss Point. MPB’s Rhonda Miller reports the group will examine oil and water samples to find out if there may be related environmental factors.

The President of Operation Help Civil Rights Group, Wendol Lee, says he came to Moss Point in May after the group got 56 letters in one month from people concerned about cancer.

"As we went down there, we did a head count and we got somewhere close to a thousand people calling saying that they are diagnosed with cancer. That’s Moss Point. And then we’ve got people out of Lucedale, Mississippi also calling saying they are diagnosed with cancer."

Lee says the group is concerned there might be environmental factors causing cancer in the region.

Vice President of Singing River Health System Cancer Center Chris Holland says medical professionals are always on alert.

"We constantly monitor that information to see if there’s some sort of cancer cluster, or things that may be environmental in nature or geographic in nature. But we don’t see that in this case. So what we’re concerned about, or what this group is concerned about is, is there something that may be an environmental factor that is leading to cancer? But that’s not something we see based on the information we have here."

According to the Mississippi Cancer Registry, maintained online by the University of Mississippi Medical Center, there were 849 cases of cancer in Jackson County in 2009.  During the same year, were 1,035 cases of cancer in Harrison County and 266 cases in Hancock County.

A community meeting set for 6 p.m. Saturday will include a chemist who will detail results of recent soil and water tests. The meeting will be at the Jackson County Civic Center in Pascagoula. 

 

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A state map showing the cases of cancer by county is on the website of the Mississippi Cancer Registry maintained by the University of Mississippi Medical Center.


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