That story is back again. It’s getting better.
Let’s look at this in chronological order. For your convenience, portions are color coded to help you wade thorough it all. Read carefully.
The Texas Cancer Registry is a statewide, population-based registry… In 2009, data from the registry showed that six counties in the western Dallas-Fort Worth area had the highest incidence of invasive breast cancer in the state. These counties are Tarrant (which includes the city of Fort Worth), Denton, Wise, Parker, Hood, and Johnson.
Invasive breast cancer is on the rise in Denton County and five neighboring counties, even as the incidence rate for the disease is lower in the state and falling across the rest of the nation.
According to a 2011 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, six counties in the western Dallas-Fort Worth area have the highest rates of invasive breast cancer in Texas.
The average of the six counties’ rates has risen from 58.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2005 to about 60.7 per 100,000 in 2008, according to the Texas Cancer Registry.
“We’re not entirely sure why that is happening,” Argenbright said, [medical director of Moncrief Cancer Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas] adding that it could be a mix of a number of factors. Source
Third from Kevin Begos Associated Press article (note the lack of quotation marks):
But researchers haven’t seen a spike in breast cancer rates in the area, said Simon Craddock Lee, a professor of medical anthropology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.
David Risser, an epidemiologist with the Texas Cancer Registry, said in an email that researchers checked state health data and found no evidence of an increase in the counties where the spike supposedly occurred.
…But the Texas health department, that maintains a cancer registry [the Texas Cancer Registry], said the increase wasn’t beyond the “margin of error” and in no way could be conclusively linked to air pollution from gas wells.
“I think what it shows is a need for more research. That’s what we’re looking at now, what else can be done,” said Chris Van Deusen, a spokesperson with the Texas Department of State Health Services.
“Our researchers have gone back as prompted by some fairly recent media attention over the last several weeks…and looked specifically at the breast cancer rates,” the health department’s Van Deusen said.
“There has not been a statistically significant increase in the amount of breast cancer incidence in those counties that are mentioned in the article,” Van Deusen said.
Someone is lying or is being cagey.
Key points to consider:
The Department of State Health Services is the same state agency that conducted the Dish, Texas blood and urine study.
In statistical testing, a result is deemed statistically significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance.
Research analysts who focus solely on significant results may miss important response patterns which individually fall under the threshold set for tests of significance. Source
If there is an elephant in the room, and that elephant is passing MASSIVE amounts of gas, are you going to blame it on the dog?
Update: I have noticed that Begos has a tendency to attribute quotes without actually quoting. He did it again when he released the DOE story.