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More Cancer Testing Urged in Australian TV Studios

t."

Eckersley, aged 40, was with the ABC for seven years and worked at the same production desk as seven women also diagnosed with the disease.

An expert panel convened last year could not find a cause for the cluster at the work site, which had a cancer rate up to 11 times higher than the general working community.

The panel's final report, handed down last month, noted that cancer clusters had been notoriously difficult to get to the bottom of.

It noted a US study of 61 workplace cancer cluster investigations, in which most were found to have no plausible cause.

The chair of the expert panel that examined the cluster, Bruce Armstrong, said further probes were not likely to turn up anything new.

Professor Armstrong said the outcome of the panel's investigation had been frustrating.

"You'd like an explanation and people want an explanation and you hope to find an explanation that would be helpful," he said.

"But at the same time, you know that if you go in investigating a cluster, the probabilities are against you."

Professor Armstrong said the panel had already documented the cases "reasonably thoroughly" and little more could be learned from them.

"Someone may have a bright idea but the betting is against it," he said.

"Our advice from the experts said the results from the (radiation) monitors that were recovered are sufficient to establish that ionizing radiation was not the cause of the cluster," he said.

However, former ABC newsreader Lisa Backhouse today said both the ABC and the scientific community should study their cases further.

"It would be an appalling waste if we just shut the book on this investigation," she said.

Backhouse, who was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2004, has survived but still requires hormone treatment, said researchers should b
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