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1,140 WTC 9/11 Responders Have Cancer

Cancer has become a reality for more than 1,000 men and women who sacrificed their health at Ground Zero — and the number is expected to grow.

As New York and the nation approach the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attack, a Mount Sinai Medical Center study found a 15% higher cancer rate among 9/11 responders than among people not exposed to the Ground Zero toxins.

As of August, 1,140 responders and people who worked, lived or studied in lower Manhattan have been certified by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health to have a WTC-related cancer.

Experts believe that is just the tip of the iceberg.

“There are more cases out there, because we just know of the people in our government-funded medical programs, not those who have been treated by their private doctors,” said Dr. Jim Melius, who is chairman of the steering committee for the WTC Responder Medical Program and a 9/11 Health Watch board member.

Tina Engel, an oncology nurse at North Shore Hospital’s WTC clinic in Queens, said: “Sadly enough, I am here just two months, and I have identified a dozen new cancer cases, and I have another 25 patients whose diagnostic test results are pending.”

“The good news is that with the new [Zadroga] federal funding, I get what I need when I need it for our patients. Their biopsies and scans are turned around in a week. Cancer trumps everything.”

As many as 65,000 people, including first responders, who got sick from 9/11 exposure are part of a WTC medical monitoring and treatment program in the New York metro area and in clinics around the country. To enroll or find out if you are eligible for free medical and mental health care, call 888-982-4748 or visit www.cdc.gov/wtc

For more information, view nydailynews.com