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MEDICAL MYSTERY ON CAMPUS

Medical experts hunt for answers after dozens of Auburn University alumni and employees are diagnosed with a rare form of eye cancer
GROUND ZERO? “We’re looking into environmental toxins,” says oncologist Dr. Marlana Orloff, who is investigating the Auburn cases. “Air, water, soil. We don’t really have any leads. We’re starting at square one.”

For Juleigh Green it started with the occasional flash of white light in her peripheral vision. Doctors initially told Green the flickering was nothing to worry about, but when she returned to the ophthalmologist in the winter of 1999, alarmed over her increasingly blurry vision, the news was not good. Tests revealed a tumor growing on the retina of her left eye, and Green was diagnosed with ocular melanoma, a rare and deadly eye cancer. Seventeen days later Green underwent surgery to remove the eye in the hope of keeping the cancer from spreading. “At the time I just wanted to talk to someone who had been through this, to hear some words of encouragement,” the Birmingham, Ala., third-grade teacher

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