The onset of brain tumors in more than one hundred people who attended or worked at Colonia High School in New Jersey has continued to baffle experts. The brain tumor cases, appearing over a thirty-year period, are a significant medical mystery that has caused alarm for experts.
Environmental scientist Al Lupiano tells NBC4 New York that there may be a common link. “If we can enrich science by showing that an unknown compound is in high concentration and link it to primary brain tumors, maybe we can protect others, remove it from our environment to make sure it never happens again.”
Lupiano, unfortunately, knows the effects of the problem firsthand. He and his wife, both Colonia High School graduates, were diagnosed with benign brain tumors over a span of twenty years.
The City of Woodbridge, NJ is investigating, with Mayor John McCormac telling NBC4 that “One hundred out of 15,000 have brain cancer—sure sounds like something we should be concerned about.”
The pace and thoroughness of investigations is a topic that Dr. Russell Lonser, chair of the department of neurological surgery at Ohio State University, says is vital. “[This is] important to investigate as numbers do seem high. The number of patients affected in a localized area are higher than what we would expect. It sounds like they are investigating, as there are lots of things that we do not know about this,” Lonser tells Newsmax.
Lonser adds that a lot of details are still unknown at this stage. “I think what they’ll have to do is go through a ton of info that includes the tumor types and any potential risk factors identified with those individuals. There are anecdotal reports of radiation causing tumors, but I think the [root causes] will require more information that finds out what the patients are experiencing. There are very few direct causes to the types of brain tumors we are talking about.”
Dr. Frank Attenello, assistant professor of neurosurgery at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California, tells Newsmax that he is similarly baffled. “These tumors, no one really knows for sure what causes them. There are reports of radiation causing these tumors at the high school, and as far as environmental exposure, radiation is the most common one, but it is still relatively low. As far as a common link between these tumors, a driver mutation, there is not one thread for sure.”
Attenello adds the news of a cancer cluster at Colonia High School has spread quickly throughout the medical community. “I think the story has gotten some pretty widespread coverage. It draws our attention because this story is not usual and there’s a part of me, and others, who want to help drill down what is causing this.”
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