Canon-McMillan Cancer Families Search for Answers

Experts Say No Known Environmental Cause

Joe DeStio
April 24, 2019 - 4:17 pm
Family members of victims of rare cancer go behind closed doors at Canonsburg Borough Building.

Joe DeStio


Canonsburg, Pa. (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - Family members of victims of a rare form of cancer say they were told there is no known environmental cause for the illness.

Six cases of Ewing sarcoma have been diagnosed in the Canon-McMillan School District since 2008.

Some of those families went behind closed doors with state officials and medical experts at the Canonsburg Borough Building today to get some answers.

Christine Barton of North Strabane told reporters, "We have to start somewhere." Barton wants the state to expand its investigation. She says there are more Ewing sarcoma cases in Westmoreland and surrounding counties. Her son Mitch was diagnosed with the rare form of cancer in December of 2018.

State Representative Tim O'Neal of South Strabane who called the meeting says all of the families' questions were not answered. "There aren't any known environmental causes but to be honest, there are still a lot of questions out there in the community."

Afterward, school board president Darla Bowman-Monaco told reporters,

“All the families here, they all have a right to know what’s going on and you have to feel sorry for them and when you Google Canon McMillian, unfortunately it’s our children who are affected by all this.”

The state health department has determined the six rare cases do not constitute a cluster.

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