MSU Denver gets more reports of cancer cases

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DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver has received four to eight more reports of cancer cases potentially linked to a classroom building that is now being tested for carcinogens.

FOX31 learned this new information just a day after MSU announced four other cancer cases reported in employees in the West Classroom Building. One of them was deadly.

MSU’s Chief Operations Officer Larry Sampler told FOX31 the new reports are from cancers that affected people in the last 10 to 15 years.

Sampler says the cases are not considered a scientific cluster.

MSU is independently testing the West Building — which had asbestos in 2010, according to the student newspaper — to be safe.

“I was shocked and a little angry,” Rick Potempa told FOX31 when he heard about the cancer cases.

His wife of more than 22 years, Donna, worked at MSU for almost a decade and died from a renal cell carcinoma in May.

Donna did not work in the West Building that’s in question, but steps away — across a walkway — in the Central Classroom Building.

“It just can’t be a coincidence,” Potempa said. “What are the odds of that. The anger… now it’s coming all again. If this was something that could’ve been prevented, yeah, that makes me angry.”

Right now, the state health department and other agencies cannot link the cancers.

MSU hopes to have the results of the carcinogen testing by Aug. 8.

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