Testing to be done around 'cancer cluster' in Huntersville

- After years of pushing for an investigation into a suspected cancer cluster in Huntersville, families are finally getting closer to answers.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has hired a company to do environmental testing in and around Hopewell High School.

Officials say the company will be checking radon samples, testing the soil and looking at the history of the property to try and figure out why so many young women are being diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer, ocular melanoma.

The disease is so uncommon that only five in 1 million people are diagnosed every year, but there have been 12 confirmed cases in people who either attended Hopewell or lived close by.

Vicki Kerecman lost the vision in her left eye because of ocular melanoma. Kerecman said, “It's a cancer that people look at you and they think, ‘You look fine, or ‘Your eye was treated, so now you’re fine,’ but it's almost you live in fear of your next scan. You live scan to scan, we call it ‘scan-xiety’ because you don't know if this next scan is going to show metastasis somewhere else”

Environmental testing should get underway around Hopewell High school in the next couple of week, and then officials hope to have some results in about a month to six weeks.

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