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Report Concludes No Cancer Clusters In Flower Mound

By Jack Fink, CBS 11 News
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A drilling rig explores for gas. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

A drilling rig explores for gas. (credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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FLOWER MOUND (CBSDFW.COM) - Steve Schmidt said that, shortly after he and his wife first learned that their daughter was diagnosed with leukemia, other children in their neighborhood got it too. So, in the fall of 2009, they asked the state to investigate whether there was a cancer cluster in Flower Mound. Schmidt said, “As a parent, when we begin to meet many other families in our small area in which we live, it becomes very alarming. So, we want to get the best information we can.”

Now, the state health department has just released its final report.

It found no evidence of cancer clusters in Flower Mound zip codes 75022 and 75028, saying that sub-types of childhood leukemia, childhood brain/central nervous system cancer, all-age leukemia and all-age non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma were found to be in the expected ranges for males and females. The state also found that there was no connection between the cancers and natural gas drilling — even though benzene emitted into the air has a known link to leukemia.

Schmidt said that his first reaction upon hearing about the state’s conclusions was “that’s a little reasurring.”

Residents in the town said that the findings represent closure to the state study, but some people, like the Schmidts and others touched by cancer, are not so sure. “There’s a family excluded in the data,” Schmidt said. “I don’t see it as a closed complaint at this patricular time.”

While questions remain, Schmidt said that he and his family are just relieved and excited that their daughter, Meg, now 5 years old, has just completed her leukemia treatment — and she is a survivor. “We’re working on a big celebration,” Schmidt said.

The state’s report also indicates the number of women with breast cancer in Flower Mound was greater than they expected. But researchers said that this was likely due to a rapidly growing population during the time of the study.

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