State studying why Warren County has highest cancer rates

October 25, 2017 06:56 PM

GLENS FALLS - Tom Borovsky lost his father to cancer in 2000.

"There's been a lot of people that had cancer on our street. Next door neighbor just passed away from cancer in the spring," he said.

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Borovsky wasn't surprised to find out Warren County has the highest cancer rates in the state. Borovsky, who lives just over the county line in Moreau, says he worries that there's something going on in the environment.

"I'm worried about if it's in the groundwater or what actually is going on."

During a news conference at Glens Falls Hospital Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo said that the environment is one of the factors they'll look at, as they study why Warren County and three other regions of the state have higher cancer rates than the rest.

"Let's study the health factors, the demographic factors, the environmental factors and find out why there's that deviation," Cuomo said.  "Why? What is the difference? What's going on in Warren County that is different?"

The state---both the health department and ENCON---will spend a year poring over the data and then report back.

"We've seen some anomalies that show certain regions are being hit harder than other areas. This type of information is invaluable," said Dr. Howard Zucker, the commissioner of the state Health Department.

Peter McDevitt of Glens Falls, who lost his wife, Carol, to brain cancer 12 years ago, is hoping the study will identify something that will prevent others in this community from getting that awful diagnosis.

McDevitt said, "Everyone has been touched and we have to do better."

More information:

New York State Cancer Services Program

Maps of cancer incidence by county


Mark Mulholland

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