Cancer Cluster Strikes Over 100 Members of High School

Cancer Cluster Strikes Over 100 Members of High School

( – When one or two people who worked or went to school at the same place come down with cancer, it’s looked at as a tragedy. Just one of those things that happen. However, when dozens upon dozens of people with connections to one place develop the same kind of cancer, then it’s considered a cluster.

Such a cancer cluster is suspected at a high school in New Jersey after more than 100 people developed brain tumors. Now, there’s an investigation into what might be causing the illness and whether there really is cause for concern.

Colonia High School

In 1999, Colonia High School graduate Al Lupiano, then-27, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. More than 20 years later, in August 2021, his wife and sister were both diagnosed with brain tumors, as well. They were also graduates of the high school.

When Lupiano’s sister and wife were diagnosed, he started thinking about the New Jersey high school they all went to and started digging. At least 117 former teachers and students have been diagnosed with brain tumors, Lupiano told CNN. He believes there’s a link between the school and the cases. His sister died in February at the age of 44.

The grieving brother went on to say there are a lot of theories about what happened but there isn’t any concrete evidence. The City of Woodbridge has set aside hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay T&M and Cabrera Services, Inc to test the school’s grounds for radiation. The EPA and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection are waiting for the tests to be complete before they take any action.

Bayshore High School

In 2017, the Florida Department of Health carried out a similar investigation after hundreds of people connected to Bayshore High School in Manatee County were found to have cancer. Alumni of the school discovered 525 cases across many graduating classes. In 2018, officials asked former students to voluntarily submit their health records — 239 people did so during the collection period.

The Department of Health eventually determined there was no cluster but alumni Cheryl Jozsa said authorities eliminated the period of time with the highest concentration of cases. Her sister Terri died from cancer; she graduated in 1979. The health department only looked at cases from 1986 through 2015. Jozsa told Bay News 9 the department’s decision to narrow the pool of cases gave them “get the results they wanted” and could say “there’s no cancer cluster.”

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