CANONSBURG (KDKA) — Residents want answers after several people in Washington County have been diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma.
Four people within the Canon-McMillan School District have been diagnosed, and health experts have not classified the cases as a cancer cluster.
Ewing Sarcoma is a bone tumor considered a very rare childhood illness. For young adults to be diagnosed, it’s considered extremely rare.
KDKA’s Lindsay Ward Reports:
The Department of Health joined local medical professionals at a public meeting Monday at Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg to discuss cancer, reporting methods and data.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health conducted an analysis of cancer data in Southwest Pennsylvania due to the community’s concerns about the spike in Ewing Sarcoma, as well as other childhood cancers.
People at the public hearing feel the state’s Department of Health failed to include all the cancer cases in the area and failed to address the community’s environmental concerns, specifically fracking.
“This area was polluted by fracking,” one woman said.
The Department of Health discussed with the group its analysis of the Ewing Sarcoma cases over the past decade, and why it used only three cases in its cluster analysis instead of the higher number reported.
The Department of Health told the community Monday they are committed to re-evaluating their findings to include potential environmental hazards after concerns were raised over them not being included in the report.
Governor Tom Wolf was invited to attend the meeting but did not attend. Those at the meeting wanted to express their distress and disappointment that the governor declined their invite.
The Marcellus Shale Coalition president David Spigelmyer released a statement, saying:
“The industry is committed to protecting and enhancing the health and safety of our communities. Representing tens-of-thousands of hardworking Pennsylvanians, including many families in Washington County, our industry empathizes with those battling cancer. We fully support and appreciate the work of independent medical experts and public health professionals who share our commitment to promoting science-based analysis of these very serious matters.”