More cancer cases reported in Satellite Beach

New diagnoses, deaths since study concluded no evidence of cancer cluster

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. – Some are still fighting to get results for a growing number of people being diagnosed with cancer around the Satellite Beach area.

"I think it stands with unanswered questions, still," Stel Bailey, with the activist group Florida Health Connection, said.

An advocate for the survivors, Bailey, herself, battled cancer.

She said recently that new victims are being diagnosed and there have even been more deaths.

A friend of Bailey's is mourning her father.

"Some we've lost, some still battling, some in remission," Tiffany Johnson said.

Johnson's father died a week before Christmas. He was 62 and had leukemia and also liver, lung and skin cancer. He fought for seven years.

"We still just don't have answers," Johnson said. "Coming to some solid conclusions and implementing some real solutions for the community are still not in near sight."

Some blame Patrick Air Force Base as the source of the problem. The military reported chemicals on base seeped into groundwater.

Then last year, the city of Satellite Beach found trace amounts of those chemicals in its groundwater and Brevard Schools also found trace amounts in drinking water for nine beachside schools.

In September, the Florida Health Department said its preliminary review did not show evidence of a cancer cluster.

Critics of the state said the prevalence of cases should not be ignored.

"The Florida Health Department collected more than 800 cases," Bailey said in reference to local diagnoses.

Bailey is collecting public records in persistence of getting answers. She said she retrieved documents of Air Force officials talking about contamination in 2010.

"We still feel like there's just a void there as far as our questions go," Bailey said. "We're going to keep searching for answers because we feel that strongly that there is something very out of the ordinary happening here."

Florida Health Connection is asking citizens to attend city hall meetings and for new victims to report their cases to the health department and also tell their public officials.

About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.