No Cancer Cluster in ACW

April 9, 2014

Huron County, ON – The Huron County Health Unit has found no evidence of a cancer cluster in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh. The health unit began an investigation in January 2014 after receiving a concern from a resident.

Public Health Epidemiologist, Dr. Erica Clark, says the investigation found that cancer rates in ACW and Huron County are on par with Ontario’s rates. “Basically this means that people in ACW and Huron County have a similar cancer risk as the rest of Ontario. The top three cancer types reported by ACW residents were breast, colon, and prostate cancer. These are among the top four types of cancer diagnosed each year in Huron County and Ontario.”

The health unit asked ACW residents, current and former, to call if they had, or knew someone who had, cancer. The health unit plotted all the reported cancer cases on a map to see if people with a specific type of cancer, for example colon cancer, were clustered in any part of ACW. There was no evidence that a type of cancer was clustered in a small part of ACW.

The types of cancer checked included breast, prostate, colon, thyroid, bladder, pancreas, lung, and others. Dr. Clark explains the first step was to look at how many people were diagnosed each year with a specific type of cancer in Huron County. “We used that number to estimate how many people we would expect to see diagnosed in ACW, then compared it to the number of cases that were reported during the investigation.”

Dr. Clark says they had tremendous response from ACW residents and she is appreciative of everyone who took the time to participate in the cancer cluster investigation.

Since the preliminary investigation did not find any evidence of a cancer cluster, the health unit will not take any further steps to investigate the number of cancer cases in the township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh.


For more information:

Our media contact is: Barbara Leavitt, Communications Co-ordinator, 519-482-3416 ext. 2289
Our spokesperson is: Dr. Erica Clark, Epidemiologist





For more information contact:

Susan Cronin, County Clerk
519.524.8394 (ext 3257)