CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A packed meeting about a mysterious cancer cluster in Huntersville left many families frustrated and upset Thursday.
Nearly 20 cases of ocular melanoma have been reported in and around Huntersville since 2014. That’s crazy high – considering it’s a rare cancer that usually affects five of every one million people.
Still, four years and a $100,000 grant later, no one has answers as to what could be causing it.
“I think people are scared,” resident Lauren Lowry said. “I know some people feel like stuff is being hidden, a lot of people feel like it is a bit of a conspiracy.”
Dr. Mike Brennan, the physician leading the research efforts, spearheaded a meeting Thursday night after the community demanded an update.
Brennan didn’t reveal many new developments but noted tests of the affected patients proved this cluster doesn’t seem to be genetic. That only opened up a floodgate of more questions.
“It's fear for everyone,” neighbor Michelle Joyce said. “No one can really tell us what's going on. There's all sorts of information I think was dodged tonight.”
The issue was recently thrust back into the limelight after mother Jessica Bosemiller was diagnosed with the cancer while pregnant with twins.
Bosemiller just had surgery to remove the affected eye. Thankfully, her twins were born healthy.
“I think people are losing patience fairly quickly especially since Jessica's diagnosis,” Lowry said. “We haven't done anything. No soil has been tested, no water has been tested. I just can't wrap my head around that.”
Those leading the investigation said they have mapped out where the patients lived, worked and went to school. That information should be released to the public soon and will hopefully reveal common threads.
“I think it's a giant issue and there's not enough people involved trying to get us answers,” Joyce said.
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