To the Editor.—
We were very interested in the article1 and accompanying editorial2 concerning herbicide exposure and cancer risk that appeared in the Sept 5 issue of JAMA. It has been our informal experience that the incidence of lymphoma in our rural, agriculturally based community has been higher than expected. Our catchment population of approximately 60 000 people includes Greene and Columbia counties in upstate New York.
Based on the article by Hoar et al, we retrieved all cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and sarcomas from our hospital-based tumor registry for the period 1975 through 1985. The group of sarcomas was too small to be meaningful. The non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (excluding chronic lymphatic leukemia) numbered 92. Thus, the annual incidence is 15.3 new cases per 100 000 people per year for our catchment population.From the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data, one may obtain similar
Weininger RB, Davis G, Hawks CD. Herbicides and Cancer. JAMA. 1987;257(17):2292. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390170048021