It’s the news glioblastoma patients in St. Lucie County feared they’d hear: There are more cases than they knew of.
This week Scripps station WPTV in West Palm Beach, Florida reported on 11 glioblastoma cases in the Fort Pierce-area, discovered through word of mouth from the patients and their families.
For two days, more people wrote to WPTV, telling us about other people they know with the disease, which affects just 13,000 people each year in the U.S.
When WPTV broadened the focus area to include all of St. Lucie County, our number now increased to roughly 30 cases over the last five years. Several more cases date with the few years previous to that.
The Florida Department of Health confirms it is monitoring their concerns and considering how to move forward.
The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County has also met with some of the Glioblastoma patients and families.
Patients like Kevin Perry say they never anything about the disease.
“You hear about cancer all the time, but Glioblastoma? No,” Perry said.
He was diagnosed in 2016 shortly after he had a seizure.
“Some days you feel like you’re brand new. Other days you feel like its all over you,” Perry said.
Perry’s wife, Ronna, is among the now dozens of local families wanting to know if their cases warrant a bigger investigation.
I would like to know if there’s something going on. Or, is it just getting more prevalent.”
Thursday, when WPTV’s glioblastoma count was around 13, we spoke with Dr. Chaim Colen, a neurosurgeon who has treated some of the local patients.
“It’s definitely high. Is that a coincidence? I don’t know,” Dr. Colen said.
Other doctors have also reached out to WPTV expressing their concerns as well that something could be contributing to their illnesses, not only in St. Lucie County but around the Treasure Coast.
“Definitely want more tests,” Perry said.
For a glioblastoma support group, click here.