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Extremely rare eye cancer affects dozens of people in North Carolina and Auburn, leaving medical professionals curious

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) – Ocular melanoma typically affects six out of every one million people, but dozens from North Carolina and Alabama have recently come down with the disease.

At Auburn University, 36 graduates were diagnosed, along with 18 patients from Huntersville, North Carolina.

It is unclear if there is any type of connection between those diagnosed with the disease in either location, and the Alabama Department of health stated it is “premature to determine that a cancer cluster exists in the area [Auburn]."

Ocular melanoma, like skin, affects the cells that produce melanin, which gives skin its color. Eyes consist of the same type of cells, but is difficult to identify this type of cancer.

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