Coram/Mt. Sinai/Port Jefferson Station Breast Cancer Follow-up Investigation

Final Integration Report Summary Materials

As part of the New York State Cancer Surveillance Improvement Initiative, a seven ZIP Code area was identified as having a significantly higher than expected incidence of breast cancer between 1993 and 1997. This area was chosen as the first to investigate using the Unusual Disease Pattern Protocol to try and identify unusual environmental or other factors that may help to explain locally elevated breast cancer incidence.

Major Findings

  • The levels of contaminants and other possible environmental exposures in the CMP area were similar to or lower than levels in the rest of New York State for the majority of exposures examined.
  • Health risk evaluations of elevated contaminants showed that none were likely to be related to the elevation of breast cancer incidence within the CMP area.
  • The evaluations also showed that except for ozone, none of the contaminants are likely to be related to non-cancer health effects within the CMP area. Ozone levels in the CMP area as well as the rest of Long Island sometimes exceed the 8-hour ozone air standard, and Long Island has been a "non-attainment" area since an ozone standard was first introduced in the early 1970s. When concentrations are expected to exceed the 8-hour standard, the New York State Health Department (NYS DOH) recommends limiting strenuous outdoor physical activity to reduce the risk of adverse effects (such as nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing and decreases in lung function). People who may be especially sensitive include the very young and those with pre-existing respiratory problems such as asthma.
  • The higher than expected breast cancer rate in the area does not stand out as significantly different from the rest of New York State when researchers accounted for income and education, which are commonly accepted surrogates for certain known risk factors, such as having fewer children or having children later in life, diet and other lifestyle choices that have been linked with breast cancer risk.

The links below provide more details about the investigation and its findings.

For more information, please contact:

Center for Environmental Health
Outreach and Education Group
Empire State Plaza-Corning Tower, Room 1642
Albany, New York 12237
518-402-7530 or 1-800-458-1158