Huntersville residents disappointed by results of cancer cluster research

Those living in Huntersville were hoping to get answers Monday night on a rare eye cancer cluster plaguing the area.

A doctor released his findings at the April 16 town hall, but many people were disappointed with the results. 

There's been months of research about an eye cancer cluster in Huntersville, the origins of which are unknown.

"Nothing can be directly attributed to ocular melnoma at this this time,” the doctor told the awaiting audience at the town hall.

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Hope was quickly diminished for the families of eye cancer victims.

 "I was disappointed. I was not surprised,” said Sue Colbert.

Sue and Kenny Colbert lost their daughter Kenan to the eye cancer nearly four years ago. 11 other people in and around Huntersville were also diagnosed.

"I am mostly sad for my girl. She died from this rare cancer. She didn't have an opportunity to live a wonderful life. I have guilt. I wonder if it is the environment,” Sue said.

For years, the thought was Hopewell High School was to blame for the cluster, but environmental tests showed nothing out of the ordinary in and around the school.

The research released Monday night, tracked the whereabouts of 20 patients with ocular melanoma. It revealed other hotspots of cancer, stretching far beyond the school, even outside Huntersville, leaving more questions.

"Doctors told us all along this was going to be a long, drawn out process there was not going to be a simple answer and it was going to a process of elimination,” Kenny said. 

More research could be on the horizon. The Town Board is forming committee to determine the next steps.