Possible cancer cluster in Henry County being investigated

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HENRY COUNTY, Ind. (August 6, 2015)-- State health officials are looking into a possible cancer cluster in Henry County after receiving complaints from residents about several cases of a rare brain cancer.

In the past two years, there have been at least eight cases of Glioblastoma in and around the New Castle area.

Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer and there is no cure.

Burke Smith's wife Betsy is one of those patients. She was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in May after feeling bouts of confusion and experiencing headaches.

The couple thought the condition was common, only because there were two other cases around their New Castle house.

Mayor Greg York told CBS4 the public does not need to panic, but public safety is top priority. He said the only link he has thought of is that every patient uses well water.

"I don't feel like it's anything in the water. It's in different parts of the country," said York. "I don't want to say it's a coincidence, but we definitely want to keep public safety and family's health at the top priority."

The State Department of Health is assisting in that and has launched an investigation into the Glioblastoma cases. Testing the water can be expensive and with the state's help, York is happy that's a burden the families won't have to bear.

Even more important, the investigation may finally bring some answers.

"This is our home. This is where our memories are. This is where our boys were born. This is where we've had our whole marriage. You know, we want to make sure this place is safe," said Smith.

His wife Betsy had her tumor removed and is on the road to recovery. Others have not been so lucky.

This story will be updated.

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