Mar 15, 2016 10:35 PM

Dozens of Seacoast parents gather for cancer cluster meeting hosted by NH DHHS

RYE - Multiple children in the Seacoast area were diagnosed with the same rare cancer - Rhabdomyosarcoma.

On Tuesday, dozens of concerned parents turned out for a meeting in Rye where experts explained the state investigation's findings.

READ: New report details findings of NH's report on Seacoast 'cancer cluster'

"Fear, anger and sense of betrayal because there was no transparency," said one concerned parent, Jillian Lane, on the lack of depth in the investigation.

When the report was published in February, it was the first time that many residents and parents even knew there was cancer cluster state investigation, including families with the pediatric cancer. The tone in tonight's meeting reflected their serious concerns.

The State's department of health and human services investigated cases of children with Rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) at request of Rye residents in March 2014. They looked at data in New Castle, Portsmouth, Greenland, North Hampton and Rye. They compared that to other areas and cancers. The findings presented tonight showed that there was no scientific evidence linking RMS to environmental or behavioral risk.

"I want to apologize if this came as a surprise," said Dr. Benjamin Chan, the state's epidemiologist.

Many of the 100 parents in attendance shared concerned and frustration, many questioned what they call gaps in the research, especially the lack of data on Coakley landfill, a superfund site.

The state encouraged residents to contribute- gathering information to continue the conversation and the research.


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