Five residents around a single block in Singleton have brain tumours, rising fears that a cancer cluster has erupted in the heavily polluted Hunter Valley mining town.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, two have died and a third is on a course of drugs he hopes will improve and extend his life for a few more months.
Bruce Armstrong, professor of public health at the University of Sydney who investigated the cluster scare at the ABC's Brisbane studios in 2007 said, most suspected cancer clusters are statistical anomalies, but given the rarity of brain tumours this case might warrant further investigation.
The two streets involved were not named at the request of the residents.
Jodi Mckay, the Minister for the Hunter met with members of the Singleton Shire Healthy Environment Group, a fortnight ago and told them that such a study was impossible due to the region's relatively small population.
This is despite recent findings that one in six Singleton school children have limited lung capacity compared to one in 20 Australia-wide, according to Tuan Au, local doctor.
Dr Au is also concerned with the cases of breast cancer seen in a number of young women.