New York health officials are investigating a spike in cancer incidence in three Long Island counties.
The State Department of Health found statistically significant rates of leukemia, bladder, lung and thyroid cancers in Centereach, Farmingville and Selden in just four years.
Using data from the New York State Cancer Registry, which tracks cancer prevalence in the state, an average of 18,000 cases of cancer per year were found on Long Island between 2011 and 2015.
That means cases on Long Island made up more than 16 percent of all the cases diagnosed in New York each year.
Dr Yusuf Hannun, director of the Stony Brook Cancer Center, a division of Stony Brook Hospital, met with state officials on Tuesday to discuss the preliminary findings.
He told Daily Mail Online that there’s no need for residents to be alarmed yet because more questions still need answering.
‘The data shows an increased incidence in small segments of Long Island but one needs to be careful about how we interpret this data,’ he said.
‘For example, what subtypes of cancer are we talking about here? For leukemia there could be a dozen different subtypes. If it’s an across-the-board increase, that would be unexpected and difficult to interpret.’
He said the same is true for lung cancer, explaining that different types of lung cancer are often seen in smokers versus non-smokers.