November 27, 2014

Elyria
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City: Cancer rate is normal

AVON LAKE — City leaders say a final study by the Ohio Department of Health indicates the city’s cancer rates are no different than cities of similar size.

Avon Lake Mayor Rob Berner said state health officials will meet with him today to discuss the results of the study, which analyzed the city’s cancer rates from 1996 to 2002.

Berner said those officials sent the city a seven-page summary of their findings and indicated that Avon Lake’s cancer rates are statistically the same as anywhere else.

“The number of cases they would have expected to find — based on the size of the population of our community — are the number of cases they did find,” Berner said.

The state’s study was based on information provided from interviews with families of people with cancer, as well scrutiny of statistics on the city’s cancer rate, Berner said.

The city’s cancer rate came under examination in 2004 when Avon Lake residents began voicing concerns about an abnormal rate of cancer in residents younger than 25, according to a past report by the state Department of Health.

That report said that from 1996 to 2002, Avon Lake developed about 91 new incidents of cancer per year.

But Berner said the recent state Health Department information affirms what the city had learned more than a year ago after a study by The Ohio State University produced similar results.

“The difference … was there was some additional information we wanted,” Berner said of the state study, which added the additional level of research by interviewing families of people who developed cancer.

Contact Shawn Foucher at 653-6255 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.