Longtime North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) member and co-founder of the NCMS Foundation’s Leadership College Michael Brennan, MD, has convened a team of eye care and cancer specialists to explore the cluster of ocular melanoma (OM) cases around Huntersville and to encourage Huntersville-area high school students to undergo thorough eye exams through a free eye exam program Dr. Brennan helped to organize.
The Huntersville region has a statistically aberrant link to OM, an extremely rare cancer, diagnosed in approximately 2,500 people each year nationwide. It occurs most often in patients 50 or older, and usually strikes men more often than women.
In the last six years, however, more than 12 individuals with residential or occupational ties to Huntersville, most of them women and most much younger than the average OM patient, have been diagnosed with the cancer. Three of the youngest victims, graduated from Hopewell High School, which opened in 2001.
The media in the area has been covering this strange phenomenon and Dr. Brennan’s efforts to study the cluster and bring free eye exams to the area. Read one of the media reports here.