Glioblastoma is a very rare form of cancer that effects .00006% of the United States population. But, what is strange is that, Daulton is the fifth former Phillie to be diagnosed with glioblastoma in the last 10 years. Daulton joins Ken Brett, Johnny Oates, Tug McGraw, and John Vukovich as former Phillies who had glioblastoma. Sadly, the four previous Phillies diagnosed in the last ten years have succumbed to the disease.
The Phillies aren't the only ones who have been diagnosed with glioblastoma. Former Expos and Mets catcher Gary Carter was diagnosed with glioblastoma and sadly passed away in February 2012. Former Royals, Cardinals, and Giants pitcher Dan Quisenberry also had glioblastoma and succumbed to the disease in 1998.
Is there anything these guys share in common? John Stolnis sparked my interest yesterday that it might have to do with the surface all of these guys played on during their professional careers.
All five Phillies that were diagnosed with glioblastoma played at Veterans Stadium, which was home to artificial turf. Carter played 11 seasons with the Montreal Expos where their home field featured Astroturf. Quisenberry played for the Royals and Cardinals at the time when both teams played on artificial turf as well.
Could it be the turf?
Research has shown that there are major concerns about what makes up artificial turf surfaces. Most artificial turf surfaces are created from chopped up rubber tires which could contain toxic chemicals. Tires are not allowed to be deposited in water bodies or landfills because of the toxic chemicals they omit.
Studies suggest that long exposure to such chemicals could cause diseases, namely cancer. This has become such a major concern that Sweden and Italy have recommended that new fields should not install artificial turf due to health concerns. UConn Health Center reports that artificial turf surfaces can omit "toxic, cancer-causing, mutation-triggering chemicals and metals."
This is where it really hit me that there could be a correlation between cancer, specifically glioblastoma, and the dangers presented by the turf. One of the first things listed by the America Brain Tumor Association about glioblastoma was how dangerous the disease is because of how quickly the cells reproduce. That combined with the research about "mutation-triggering chemicals" seems to be too much of a coincidence.
I am not a doctor nor am I overly familiar with anything remotely close to the medical field but I think there is something here worth digging into further. Could it be a coincidence? Absolutely but how rare glioblastoma is and how often it has been appearing in MLB players warrants a closer look.
But, at the end of the day, it is about Dutch and his health. We wish Dutch all the best and he's in our thoughts and prayers, along with his family.
Right On, Fight On.
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