A bill introduced in the state legislature to improve West Virginia’s Cancer Registry died due to opposition from the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health. Now, community members in one Fayette County town are speaking out.
The Cancer Registry Bill aimed to improve the quality of cancer data recorded in the state.
The bill would take into account where a person spent most of their life when recording location-based cancer data. Whereas, current location-based cancer data only considers where someone lived when they were diagnosed and where they died.
The bill was crafted with the small town of Minden in mind. Brandon Richardson, a member of the Minded Community Action Team, said the State Cancer Registry is incomplete when it comes to Minden, and state health agencies are underreporting cancer instances in the town.
“Underreporting cancer in these communities like Minden that are toxic and contaminated…and there’s such a huge amount of cancer here…if they’re trying to underreport that, it is a form of violence on communities like this one,” Richardson explained.
Richardson also said nearly everyone in the community is affected by cancer, and residents are dying from it at an alarming rate; however, those numbers are not shown on the state registry.