FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KFSM) — Following reports from concerned community members, the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) launched an investigation into the number of childhood cancer cases in Washington County.
The ADH determined that there was no statistical excess of childhood cancers for Washington County from 2001 to 2017.
"We had looked at the cancer registry data and we have a process to investigate cancer and any suspected cancer clusters. Based on our data we collected from the 17 year period, we did not find any excess cancers than what is expected in Washington County," said State Chronic Disease Director Dr. Appathurai "Bala" Balamurugan.
Earlier this year, 5NEWS received messages from concerned people in Elkins who said many children had been diagnosed with cancer in the small town.
Dr. Balamurugan would not answer questions about cases in Elkins because he said he did not want to inadvertently reveal the identities of those with cancer in the town.
"Cancer diagnosis is devastating to the families and individuals," Dr. Balamurugan said. "We have a process in place at the department of health and we will work with individuals or families or communities or concerned citizens across the state."
The ADH will continue to actively monitor cancer rates across the states and investigate any community members' concerns.