Salem cancer cluster study results may be released Tuesday

Salem cancer cluster study results may be released Tuesday »Play Video
Tyler Prosser, 18, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, just graduated high school and has been cancer free for a year. His father, Craig, spoke on behalf of families who have been impacted by cancer and said not all families are confident in the EPA's results.

SALEM, Ore. - Craig Prosser is a grateful his son Tyler is alive and well today.

“He's healthy,” Prosser says. “He's being a normal teenager right now.”

Tyler Prosser survived his 2012 diagnosis of osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, with the help of chemotherapy.

But Craig Prosser is still frustrated. There have been seven cases within three miles of each other in West Salem, including Tyler's. Two of them were fatal.

“Here they're seemingly healthy kids at 14 years old and by 17 or 20 they're, they're gone, you know?” Prosser says. “I couldn't imagine that. Thank God Tyler is doing well.”

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency tested soil at five sites in West Salem for hundreds of toxins. Results released last month found nothing that would explain the cancer cluster.

Salem state representative Vicki Berger asked the Oregon Health Authority to study osteosarcoma rates across Oregon for comparison. Representative Berger expects to get the study results as early as Tuesday and says she will make those results public.

For Craig Prosser, that would still be a step toward finding an answer, even if the study doesn’t lead to a cause for the West Salem cancer cluster.

“To save, or find out why a kid died, I think that's priceless. It doesn't - you shouldn't have to put a price, or any money, or a dollar amount on it to find some answers,” Prosser says. “We're not trying to point fingers at anybody. We're not trying to make any false claims. We just want to find some answers.”