Public health experts respond to MSU Denver cancer scare

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DENVER — As FOX31 continues to receive more reports of cancer that could be connected to Metropolitan State University Denver, public health experts are responding to student and faculty concerns.

Last week, MSU announced that it is testing the West Classroom Building for carcinogens after four employees there had various types of cancer. One of those employees has passed away.

FOX31 has heard from former employees and students who were in the West building in the last 10 to 15 years and are now wondering if their cancer could be connected to it.

This includes 29-year-old BobbiLee Sanders-Evans, who has stage-four brain cancer.

“It scares me. I even want to cry now. And I’m trying not to,” Sanders-Evans told FOX31.

Meanwhile, public health experts say it’s extremely difficult to connect cancer cases to a building or environment.

“These are tough problems,” said Dr. Jonathan Samet, the dean of the Colorado School of Public Health. “When we look at what causes those cancers. It’s hard to tie that together… back to a single agent.”

The National Cancer Institute looked at 576 cancer cluster investigations. It could find a definitive cause in just one of them.

The results of MSU’s independent tests are set to be released by Aug. 8.

MSU sent the following statement to FOX31 and Channel 2:

“Nothing has changed since our town hall meeting last week that would deviate the current course of our investigation. MSU Denver remains focused first and foremost on our students, faculty and staff and keeping them safe and informed. We continue to complete environmental assessments of the areas of concern in West Classroom, performed by independent contractors. We remain committed to data-driven decisions and, at this time, have received no new information that gives us reason to doubt that our buildings are safe to occupy.

Understandably, the emotions associated with cancer can sometimes cloud the significant science behind what we know about the disease. For further information on the statistics of cancer in America please consult this website provided by the American Cancer Society

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