Flower Mound Has High Breast Cancer Rates: Report

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Experts have been studying Flower Mound for years over worries that fracking and natural gas drilling are causing high cancer rates.

    The latest study by the Texas Department of State Health Services shows higher than normal breast cancer rates for the town of Flower Mound but normal rates for other types of cancer.

    The study released Wednesday looked at cancer rates in the town from 2002 through 2011.

    According to the report, researchers found rates of leukemia, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, brain/CNS and liver cancers to be at the expected level for the town.

    The only outlier was breast cancer in females, which they stated was "higher than expected," and results were "statistically significant."

    Flower Mound Mayor Tom Hayden said cases were about 22 percent higher than the average.

    "That's very concerning for our community," he said.

    The report states the higher-than-normal rate could come from any number of factors, from better access to screening and medical care to common lifestyle factors, environmental factors or even simply random chance.

    Hayden said it's something they will continue to monitor as is the whole cancer issue in town.

    "What we need to do is keep doing what we're doing," said Hayden, adding that the town has created one of the most progressive air quality monitoring systems in the state over the last four years.

    Concern over Flower Mound cancer rates first arose in 2010 when concern sprouted about possible cancer clusters being linked to hydraulic fracture drilling, or fracking, in the area.

    Since that time, three studies have now come from the state saying they haven't found cancer clusters in the town and all but dismissing the correlation.

    The issue resurfaced last spring with a report from University of Texas researchers disputing the state findings and saying the possible links to carcinogens like benzene from fracking shouldn't be ruled out.

    Several citizens told NBC 5 that they are still concerned about how fracking and the cancer rates in town correlate, and they hope the town and state continue to study the matter.