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Turf causing cancer in Phillies?


Toddwert

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Decades after the final out of the 1980 World Series was recorded, [Tug] McGraw, [John] Vukovich, [Ken] Brett, and [Dan] Quisenberry had all died from brain cancer.

They weren’t the only ones: In all, six former Phillies have reportedly been felled by glioblastoma — a particularly aggressive and deadly form of brain cancer — including former catcher Darren Daulton and former relief pitcher David West, who died in 2022.

The rate of brain cancer among Phillies who played at the Vet between 1971 and 2003 is about three times the average rate among adult men.

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53 minutes ago, Tigeraholic1 said:

Sad if linked to this....

Certainly ominous, but OTOH, it can be very hard to achieve much scientific certainty with clusters of rare cancers. It's probably the case that millions have had significant exposure to PFAs, but millions haven't gotten glioblastoma. Can they/have they determine(d) if the Phillies were doing something to their field that that all the other teams from the era with similar turf were not? etc.

Which is not to say the civil courts might not reach their own verdict.

Edited by gehringer_2
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2 hours ago, gehringer_2 said:

Certainly ominous, but OTOH, it can be very hard to achieve much scientific certainty with clusters of rare cancers. It's probably the case that millions have had significant exposure to PFAs, but millions haven't gotten glioblastoma. Can they/have they determine(d) if the Phillies were doing something to their field that that all the other teams from the era with similar turf were not? etc.

Which is not to say the civil courts might not reach their own verdict.

I was wondering the same thing ... do the Reds, Cardinals, Royals and Pirates have a higher rate? or is there something else with the PFA's that makes it worse in Philly?

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41 minutes ago, Shinzaki said:

I vaguely recall some discussion years ago about increased cancer rates in female soccer players who played on Field turf...esp the goalies because they rolled around in it...but have no recollection if that connection was ever made completely

I also wonder if has something to do with turf leaching off toxins when exposed to direct sunlight opposed to a dome.

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I did a little research on this, and was brought up in the media as early as 2013. So this isn't a new idea or link.

From 2010-2015 I was president of a small non-profit that raised funds for brain tumor and research. Mostly we focused on patients. Giablastomas are rare among the  total population and if you have to get a brain tumor, it is the last one you want. Deadly and an average life span of 18 months after diagnosis. 

What is interesting to me beyond the Philadelphia players, the other well-known major leaguers who died from  a GB played on artificial turf for a good part of their careers as well: Gary Carter in Montreal, Dick Howser and Dan Quisenberry in KC. Ken Brett also spent time in KC as well.as Philly.

It will take years of research to prove that there is a link, if it can ever be proved. 

I do wonder though if there has been an abnormal amount of Phillies who died of other cancers at an early age. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Tom Underwood,  who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

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13 minutes ago, Shinzaki said:

Maybe it's Philadelphia...Didn't Legionnaire's disease show up first in Philly...at an American Legion convention?  Hence the name?

LOL.

But the etiology of Legionaires is well understood. The bug actually lives out in the environment everywhere, whether it can concentrate pretty  much comes down to plumbing design and water supply properties. It had never been found because it wouldn't grow in any of the conventional lab media being used up until then. One of my wife's coworkers has a strain of legionella named after her as she was the first to isolate it in a UM clinical pathology lab.

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3 hours ago, CMU97 said:

I did a little research on this, and was brought up in the media as early as 2013. So this isn't a new idea or link.

From 2010-2015 I was president of a small non-profit that raised funds for brain tumor and research. Mostly we focused on patients. Giablastomas are rare among the  total population and if you have to get a brain tumor, it is the last one you want. Deadly and an average life span of 18 months after diagnosis. 

What is interesting to me beyond the Philadelphia players, the other well-known major leaguers who died from  a GB played on artificial turf for a good part of their careers as well: Gary Carter in Montreal, Dick Howser and Dan Quisenberry in KC. Ken Brett also spent time in KC as well.as Philly.

It will take years of research to prove that there is a link, if it can ever be proved. 

I do wonder though if there has been an abnormal amount of Phillies who died of other cancers at an early age. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is Tom Underwood,  who died of pancreatic cancer in 2010.

I wander what the cancer rate is with Eagles they played at the Vet too?  

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51 minutes ago, Toddwert said:

I wander what the cancer rate is with Eagles they played at the Vet too?  

I had this thought, but the Eagles played 10ish games there a year including postseason and preseason as opposed to 81.

I'm not sure this stuff is statistically significant. It would show up in other astroturfs, right? And three times the national average in such a small sample? Well I wouldn't jump to conclusions on that. Other possible causes I'd want ruled out: chewing tobacco, steroids/ped's/supplements, some chemical plant upwind from Veteran's field during the summers, etc...

Edited by Edman85
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15 minutes ago, Edman85 said:

I had this thought, but the Eagles played 10ish games there a year including postseason and preseason as opposed to 81.

I'm not sure this stuff is statistically significant. It would show up in other astroturfs, right? And three times the national average in such a small sample? Well I wouldn't jump to conclusions on that.

Most cancer clusters go unsolved. You have a sample of 350 million patients, you are going to see a lot of things just by random chance, and you have an incredibly complex chemical environment in the modern world and everybody has lived a slightly different life so tracking that is nearly impossible, and you have an incredibly complex human genome that makes the odd person here or there responds to something no-one else does. So sure, do the level best you can to figure it out, but don't go into the task with too much optimism.

Edited by gehringer_2
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1 hour ago, Edman85 said:

I had this thought, but the Eagles played 10ish games there a year including postseason and preseason as opposed to 81.

I'm not sure this stuff is statistically significant. It would show up in other astroturfs, right? And three times the national average in such a small sample? Well I wouldn't jump to conclusions on that. Other possible causes I'd want ruled out: chewing tobacco, steroids/ped's/supplements, some chemical plant upwind from Veteran's field during the summers, etc...

That jumped out at me as well.  Six incidences of cancer instead of two doesn't strike me as significant.  

Edited by Tiger337
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