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Cancer & a fatiguing illness in Northern Nevada--a causal hypothesis

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By Levine PH, Fears TR, Cummings P, Hoover RN • www.ProHealth.com • May 5, 1998


PURPOSE: We investigated the possibility that chronic fatigue
syndrome (CFS) predisposes to cancer by comparing the cancer
pattern in an area in northern Nevada, where an outbreak of a
fatiguing illness, which included cases of CFS, was reported,
to an area in southern Nevada, where no such illness was
reported.
METHODS: Data from the computerized Nevada Cancer
Registry were utilized to compare incidence rates of four
malignancies--brain cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), lung
cancer, and breast cancer--in Washoe and Lyon Counties, where
an unexplained fatiguing illness was reported during 1984-86,
with comparably sized Clark County, where no such illness was
reported.
RESULTS: Higher incidences of NHL and primary brain
tumors were noted in the two northern Nevada counties (Washoe
and Lyon) in 1986 and 1987 respectively, compared to the
southern Nevada (Clark) county. Similar patterns were not seen
for breast or lung cancer.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides a
model for investigating the possible predisposition of CFS
patients to develop cancer using other cohorts, but it is
currently premature to accept such a link at this time.




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