Glioblastoma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, is the most aggressive cancer that begins within the brain.
Dr. Henry Friedman, a neuro-oncologist and Deputy Director of the Preston Robert TischBrain Tumor Center at Duke University has said the only known contributor to glioblastoma is exposure to radiation.
While Glioblastoma only affects only about 13,000 people in the United States each year, in the 34982 Ft. Pierce zip code there have been nearly a dozen diagnoses in an area less than 10 miles.
Most of the families effected live in or near the 34982 zip code and have been diagnosed within the last 5 years. The majority are younger than the average age for glioblastoma.
Last week Florida Congressman Brian Mast met with these patients and their families to offer his support. He is enlisting the help of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to determine if such high prevalence in such a small geographic area is normal.
“I’m committed to determining if there’s anything we can do to help these families and steps we can take to ensure the safety of our community,” said Congressman Mast.
“That’s where you come in – if you know anybody else who has been diagnosed or had a similar experience (even if they no longer live in our community), please contact our office. I’ll collect any additional information and share it with health officials. The more information we have, the more likely we are to be able to help.”
As an aside, after we published the related article above we received this email from a reader:
“Husband died from Glioblastoma in 2011. He was 73.
I always felt this was caused by environment, as he worked on
cars at one time, boats, houses, etc.
We live in Martin County
Please keep me informed. Have another friend recently died
in the area, also from glio.”