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Defence cancer cluster at Kent Street?

By streetwise - 19 January 2010 15

[Ed First Filed Jan14, 2010] Looks like someone else read this post, as WIN News ran a piece on the news last night 18 January 2010 about it. Supposedly Defence sent out a notice reminding people that the report into the Cancer Cluster found nothing.

Can anyone tell me anything about the cancer cluster that “may or may not” exist at 109 Kent street? That’s the big building behind the Telstra joint. Having worked there I have not been informed or kept updated about it. Naturally, I want to know a bit more about this. The conventional channels have yielded nothing. Does anyone know anything more about it? Did they ever report anything further about the possibilities of cancer? I know the building is 50 metres from a cell tower and that it had extensive asbestos in it.

The first I heard of it was when a former colleague of mine mentioned that they were going in for a second round of treatment for a reoccouring brain tumour. They told me that they were glad they were out of Kent Street because they had showed up fine after 3 years out of the building, but barely 6 months after being sent back there they had cancer again.

Information is sketchy, and I’m having big problems finding anything official, so well, maybe the local grapevine has some news. I’ve Googled some of the common terms for it llike “109 Kent street cancer” and found nothing.

I spoke to a lady I knew who had breast cancer there. She said that they had asked around and it seemed as though there were 12 people she knew from the building who had cancer, including 2 that have since died, and one who had major surgery on his brain and was just learning to speak again.

PS. This is not supposed to be a debate, I just want some up to date info and facts. Perhaps a link to some offical info.

What’s Your opinion?


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15 Responses to
Defence cancer cluster at Kent Street?
sepi 8:51 pm 19 Jan 10

Canb. Times also ran a little article on this over the weekend. It also mentioned that it was investigated and nothing found. i think they mentioned an info session of some sort.

realityskin 12:12 am 16 Jan 10

There is some class action going on i think, or at the least information sessions, one of the guys i work with attends..

cleo 11:56 pm 14 Jan 10

Defence do cover up, I cannot access my medical records when I was in PNG, had medical problems from malaria tablets, was medi-vaced home, have looked up side effects from the malaria tablets and found that one of the side effects I have could be from them, also I wasn’t sent home for treatment straight away, lost a lot of weight which I didn’t have and it has caused me to suffer servere arthritis, if I had cancer I would be dead, thats how long it took them to send me home, only a friend who was a Squadrenleader made it official to send me home, so of course there is no compensation. DON’T TRUST THEM!

MWF 8:40 pm 14 Jan 10

Skidbladnir said :

Your evidence is anecdotal, and other than saying “These people once worked together and they have cancer, so therefore it must be working together that caused the cancer”, you have no proof./quote]

Well, what if I said: “These people all work together and they are all frigging nutcases because of the crappy management” that’s anecdotal as well, but I like it.

AussieRodney 8:04 pm 14 Jan 10

Pretty much as astrojax said, there is no evidence of any cancer clusters being associated with the building. And there is as yet no specific evidence of anything else being wrong with the building, other than the rifle slots for windows & the aircon being temperamental.

UrbanAdventure.org 6:58 pm 14 Jan 10

Hey, don’t I know you? Are you kind of short, pudgy and have a hair lip? Or were you the taller one who struck fear into us all with your dyke power and who rode a motor bike?
I thought we were told not to discuss this stuff.

Joe Canberran 2:40 pm 14 Jan 10

Witness the firepower of this Fully Armed and Operational Telstra Exchange!

Sorry. It’s a slow afternoon.

el 2:27 pm 14 Jan 10

The Telstra exchange is the smaller building in front of Deakin Offices closer to the main road, and is fully functional as far as I’m aware.

youami 1:53 pm 14 Jan 10

*substation = exchange 🙂

youami 1:45 pm 14 Jan 10

astrojax said :

not to be argumentative, but a cancer cluster is a grouping of like cancers at a statistically significant occurrence above chance – and the cancers must be the same, or related, and must be primary, not metastasised from other organs.

do the facts you know at the moment, and/or the insinuations, conform to these requirements? breast and brain cancers are not like in kind, for instance.

cancer is, unfortunately, very common and so the statistical likelihood of there being a number of people in any one location who present with cancer is not extraordinary.

all that said, i have no knowledge of this kent street (sydney? i guess not – what suburb we talking here? the big telstra joint i know is on black moutnain!) situation and trust it is being appropriately treated by those who need to do so.

I agree… You have lies, damn lies, and then statistics. Not to say that the building isn’t very appealing to work there. Outside and inside…

Joe Canberran said :

The link in the post shows 109 Kent street to be in Deakin.

Building is called Deakin Offices. So I have heard, it was built as a Telecom Australia substation but apparently never got used for that, instead Defence bought it (or leased it) and so the people who work there have to look outside through windows that were not designed for looking out of.

http://the-riotact.com/?p=6622&quote=comment-86069#comment (from a past post)

Skidbladnir 1:18 pm 14 Jan 10

I find it amazing how anti-science, anti-medicine, anti-expert thinking, and misinformation thrives in a climate of fear.

To be a cluster of cancers, they need to be all of the same specific type or have a similar pathology.
“Exposure to X increases your risk of one of 45,000 different cancers” is a statement no scientist will ever make, because there is no single cause for every form of cancer.
Risk factors can include lifestyle, diet, environment, genetics, age, etc.

For a clustering to be investigated, the cancers need to have a level of incidence above the norm, and at a level of occurance above statistical chance, and all have something in common prior to the diagnosis of cancer.

Your evidence is anecdotal, and other than saying “These people once worked together and they have cancer, so therefore it must be working together that caused the cancer”, you have no proof.
A similar fallacy would be that when ice cream sales rise, so do child drownings. As more ice cream is sold, the more children drown, so selling ice cream must cause child drowning.

Short of actually coming out and saying that DoD are conspiring against you, you have come out trying to appeal to non-scientists, and assumed that stories and anecdotal evidence are just as good as — if not superior to — controlled scientific studies.
Anecdotal evidence (ie: first-person stories and rumours) must be confirmed with rigorous research in order to ever be validated.

I suspect that if you asked these 12 people that woman worked with (which is probably well below natural population incidence rates) each will tell you something different that they did in that building, or what their personal risk factors are.
Which is why Defence may be doing research. Valid research takes time.
If we listened to everyone’s anecdotes about how “Timmy got cancer and died after he worked on the Tinfoil Hat Project, that Project is what caused his cancer.” instead of asking further questions, medicine would not have emerged from the dark ages, and we’d still be trying to end droughts by rain dancing.

Have some basic understanding of your subject before you tell the experts they’re lying.
Or just go back to emailing around stories of how nutrasweet causes lupus.

emd 1:05 pm 14 Jan 10

I know that building. If you still work in Defence, try searching their intranet and bulletin boards for health information relating to the building’s Defence reference (the internal building name/number). You might find something by searching the publications area of the intranet for official Minutes.

harvyk1 12:56 pm 14 Jan 10

astrojax said :

all that said, i have no knowledge of this kent street

And lets keep it that way… 🙂

Joe Canberran 9:23 am 14 Jan 10

The link in the post shows 109 Kent street to be in Deakin.

astrojax 9:09 am 14 Jan 10

not to be argumentative, but a cancer cluster is a grouping of like cancers at a statistically significant occurrence above chance – and the cancers must be the same, or related, and must be primary, not metastasised from other organs.

do the facts you know at the moment, and/or the insinuations, conform to these requirements? breast and brain cancers are not like in kind, for instance.

cancer is, unfortunately, very common and so the statistical likelihood of there being a number of people in any one location who present with cancer is not extraordinary.

all that said, i have no knowledge of this kent street (sydney? i guess not – what suburb we talking here? the big telstra joint i know is on black moutnain!) situation and trust it is being appropriately treated by those who need to do so.

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