NEW YORK, NEW YORK – A news report on medpagetoday.com examines the latest results of two studies published in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. According to the news report, the more time that passes, the more health information is discovered concerning the “long-term consequences of exposure to the disaster sites.” The two studies, which were funded by the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program, show connections between exposure to the World Trade Center site after the terror attacks and the development of several types of cancers.
The first study examined male New York City firefighters who were exposed to the World Trade Center site. The study found that the male firefighters had “higher relative rates of all cancers when compared to male firefighters who were not exposed to World Trade Center site. The study found that “WTC-exposed firefighters” had higher rates of prostate cancer, melanoma, thyroid cancer, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma, according to Mayris Webber, DrPH, with the Bureau of Health Services and colleagues.
The second WTC cancer study from Charles Hall, Ph.D., with Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and colleagues, discovered that beginning in 2007, rescue and recovery workers at the World Trade Center site had a 24% greater risk of developing prostate cancer as compared to the general population in New York State.
According to the news release, medical treatment benefits are only provided to those whose medical conditions have been previously determined to be connected with toxic agent exposures confronted by 9/11 responders and survivors.
In this examination of nearly 11,000 WTC-exposed firefighters and about 9,000 non-WTC-exposed firefighters, prostate cancer was the most diagnosed cancer within both groups. The study also found that melanoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were the second and third most common cancers diagnosed in the exposed group. Lung cancer and melanoma were the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the non-WTC-exposed study group.
The studies also showed that when the results were compared with the U.S. male population, all of the cancer incidences among exposed firefighters were “higher than expected,” even when adjusted for possible surveillance bias..”
According to the news report, prostate cancer can take 10 to 20 years to develop after exposure to a carcinogen. Moreover, even though there is a clear link between World Trade Center exposure and prostate cancer among first responders, the amount of time between exposure and cancer diagnosis is not known.
There were 1,120 prostate cancer diagnoses in the Hall study amongst the 54,394 rescue and recovery workers who participated in the study. The median time from exposure to diagnosis was 9.4 years. A majority of the cases (66%) were diagnosed from 2009 to 2015.
According to the researchers, the dust cloud was the most significant danger to those who attended to the disaster. The study found that the high intensity of exposure likely played a role in “premature oncogenesis.”
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