Experts stumped on Maine’s high child cancer rates
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — Federal data shows Maine has high rates of childhood cancer, and experts are trying to figure out why.
The Bangor Daily News reports a study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found the state’s rate of cancer in patients under 20 was 190.5 per million residents, compared to the national average of 173.7.
Dr. Bruce Bates, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, says Maine has recorded about 60 cases of pediatric cancer per year over the past decade.
Dr. Stanley Chaleff with the Maine Children’s Cancer Program says most cancers in children don’t have genetic predispositions or environmental influences.
Childhood cancer is also rare, which Bates says makes it difficult to track. Still, he says “it’s something we need to be vigilant on.”
Information from: Bangor Daily News, http://www.bangordailynews.com