Canon-McMillan High School

Canon-McMillan High School in Canonsburg

The state Department of Health and local medical professionals will take part in a public meeting at Canon-McMillan High School on Oct. 7 about the large number of cases of Ewing sarcoma and childhood cancers.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the high school auditorium.

Medical professionals from UPMC Children’s Hospital will talk about Ewing sacroma and related types of cancer.

Department of Health officials will discuss cancer incidence reporting methods and how data is collected.

State Rep. Tim O’Neal, R-South Strabane, and Jason Ortitay, R-South Fayette, will host the meeting.

Since 2008, six cases of Ewing sarcoma have been confirmed within the Canon-McMillan School District, and several other students within the district have been diagnosed with various forms of cancer.

Department of Health officials will speak about the cancer incidence reporting methods and how data is collected.

Following an investigation into a possible cancer cluster, the Department of Health concluded in April there was no cancer cluster and there is not a statistically higher number of Ewing sarcoma cases in the Canonsburg area compared to the rest of the state.

But, residents argue, the study included only three of the six cases that have been diagnosed over the past decade, and excluded Cecil resident Kyle Deliere, who died of Ewing sarcoma in 2013.

O’Neal and Ortitay want the Department of Health to explain the report and how they arrived at the conclusion that there is no cancer cluster.

“Residents deserve answers so that they can better understand how conclusions were reached. I look forward to hearing the department more fully explain its incidence review findings,” Ortitay said in a news release.

O’Neal has requested that the National Institutes of Health complete a multiyear, multi-state study of Ewing sarcoma and related cancers to gather date and find a cause.

A letter signed by more than 50 groups and 300 individuals urged Gov. Tom Wolf to attend the meeting.

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