Pediatric Cancer risk in Southwest Florida

Posted at 7:34 AM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 07:34:37-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Children in Southwest Florida are at higher risk for cancer compared to the rest of the state.  That's the word from some highly respected journals in pediatric cancer.

But the Florida state Department of Health remains silent on the issue.
Five separate studies looking at pediatric cancer rates, paint a disturbing picture. 
Pretty much everywhere South of Lake Okeechobee. children living in South Florida are three times more likely to get diagnosed with cancer.  The first study was published in 2010, four more followed.
The result of one study explains that "compared with the state, there is a statistically significant 36% increased risk of childhood cancer."
What is even more disturbing, scientists involved in the research say the FDOH showed little interest after their articles were published in highly respected medical journals.
Dr. Reid Amin pointed out, "There has been no contact nothing at all to my knowledge."
All these studies do is identify a hot zone.  They don't determine what's the cause.
But one study does point out: "these findings are suggestive of environmental risk factors in our area."
The conservation group "Friends of the Everglades"  is frustrated FDOH has yet to take any action.  "What I can say is that scientists who are fearful for their careers and have a hard time finding funding, would all say this is an area that needs much more serious investigation and follow up by the state of Florida," says chairman Alan Farago.
Fox 4 News checked the media releases by the state health department and they have issued no warnings or stated they will pursue any further investigation of this research.