Rep. Mindi Messmer: Senseless loss on the Seacoast

  • Mindi Messmer AP

For the Monitor
Published: 9/1/2018 12:10:23 AM

Our community has lost another young life to cancer. This is another loss to rhabdomyosarcoma identified in the Seacoast pediatric cancer cluster. The double cancer cluster in the Seacoast area consists of higher than expected rates of rhabdomyosarcoma and pleuropulmonary blastoma but also almost three times the expected rate for brain and central nervous system cancers in our children. This child is a member of our community. I have a son about the same age.

Our hearts go out to this family and the families who have lost their children across this state to cancer. So many lives have been taken in our state prematurely. My heart breaks for the children and families across this state who have faced cancer and other chronic illnesses. This is what drives me to fight for the families who have no voice.

I will continue to fight to expose and remediate environmental triggers in our community and across the state that may be contributing to New Hampshire’s highest in the nation rates of children with cancer, breast cancer and bladder cancer.

This comes at a time when the media is consumed with the passing of Sen. John McCain from glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is a brain cancer that has no effective treatment, and has an average survival rate of only 10 percent and a median survival rate of only 14 months.

We must continue to prevent cancer as well as develop new treatments. Although the New Hampshire Seacoast pediatric cancer cluster are genetic forms of cancers, we think there are environmental triggers for the cancers as well as for breast and bladder cancer.

Less Cancer, a nonprofit organization, has been an active partner in assisting me with my legislation and giving a platform to discuss the important ways in which we can and must move to prevent cancer.

Please take a moment in your day to reflect on the loss of life and support the efforts of Less Cancer so that we can address the cancer crisis in New Hampshire.

(Mindi Messmer is a state representative for Rye and New Castle, and an environmental scientist with a public health background. She is running for Congress in the 1st District.)

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