2009-03-19 / Local & State

$5.5 Million Approved To Study Rare Cancer In Pa.

POTTSVILLE, Pa. (AP) - Congress has approved $5.5 million dollars to study a rare blood cancer cluster in three eastern Pennsylvania counties.

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will get most of the funding to study trends and environmental risk factors in the cluster area in Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties.

The blood disease - polycythemia (pah-lee-sy-THEE'- mee-ah) vera, or PV - showed up years ago in four people in Rush Township, Schuylkill County. Last August, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported 33 cases in the tri-county region.

The area between McAdoo and Tamaqua remains the center of the cluster, which is near several Superfund sites and a power plant fired by waste coal.

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