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State to Study Staten Island's High Cancer Rates, Governor Says

By Nicholas Rizzi | October 26, 2017 2:54pm
 Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $500,000 study to investigate four areas around the state with elevated cancer rates, including Staten Island.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a $500,000 study to investigate four areas around the state with elevated cancer rates, including Staten Island.
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DNAinfo/Rosa Goldensohn

STATEN ISLAND — The state will study why the borough has the highest rates of cancer in the city.

The effort is part of a $500,000 program announced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday to investigate the patterns and potential causes for high rates of cancer in four areas across the state.

The study, which will be conducted by the state's Department of Health with consultation from the Department of Environmental Conservation, will look through cancer data to find potential demographic, occupational and environmental issues that leads to the elevated rates.

Staten Island was chosen as part of the study because it has the highest rate of cancer in the city.

The rate per 100,000 people in the borough was 569 for men in 2014 and 486.7 for women, according to the state DOH.

The Bronx had a rate of 544.3 for men and 401.9 for women; Brooklyn had 511.3 for men and 414.2 for women; and Manhattan had 511.4 for men and 431.4 for women. Queens had the lowest rate in the city with a rate of 487.5 per 100,000 people for men and 399.1 for women.

Lawmakers have previously called on the city to study potential health impacts of Fresh Kills dump on residents after statistics showed the borough had higher rates of cancer and several birth defects than the rest of the city.

"A cancer diagnosis is the last thing anyone wants to hear from their doctor, and in order for New York to continue providing the very best care to help stomp out this deadly disease, we need to invest in necessary research and development to improve the way provide care," Cuomo said in a statement.

Aside from Staten Island, the state will also study Erie County, Long Island and Warren County, which has the highest rates of cancer in the state. The study's expected to be finished in one year, Cuomo said.