Last Updated on 22nd September 2020 by Kirsty Smithson
9/11 cancer has affected 9,795 people in the aftermath of the disaster that occurred on September 11th 2001.
The figures have been revealed ahead of the 17th anniversary of the attacks by the federal World Trade Center Health Program.
This program tracks 9/11 related diseases and provides treatment for those first responders that attended each scene that day, as well as survivors of the New York City disaster.
Dr. Michael Crane, Medical director of the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai, said in an interview that since the program began 5 years ago, they have seen a significant increase in the number of cancer patients.
Figures collated by the health program in 2015 revealed a total of 3,204 cases of 9/11 cancer.
This figure rose more than double to 8,188 by the end of 2016.
And as it stands now, the number of people with a related 9/11 cancer is 9,795, so almost 10,000.
To date, 420 people have died specifically from a 9/11 cancer.
Rescue workers are at the most risk of developing cancer, particularly thyroid, bladder cancer or skin melanoma.
Breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are most likely to affect any non rescue workers.
Dr Crane said that the average age rose from 38 to 55 for those affected by a 9/11-related illness.
Tom Wilson, former NYPD Sgt., developed respiratory illnesses after he worked roughly 344 hours at the site of the attacks.
He was later diagnosed with tongue cancer in 2008 after years of suffering with sinus problems.
Mr Wilson still works for the police and said, “I probably could go out on disability, but working is my therapy – it helps me.”
He went on to say, “God forbid there’s another 9/11, I want to be able to respond to that.”
Another person affected by the attacks is Debbie Morales, who says her health has deteriorated since that day.
Debbie used to work for the National Coffee Association as a receptionist.
Eight years after 9/11, she suffered two seizures and was diagnosed with advanced brain cancer.
Her health complications have prevented her from starting a family due to being unable to freeze her eggs.
She said, “I’m fearful about everything since 9/11… I was never like that before. I feel that thing just took everything away.”
Director of the Queens World Trade Center Health Program at Northwell Health, Dr. Jacqueline Moline, spoke about the death toll from 9/11 cancer, ‘The first wave was the acute – the deaths and all the acute injuries in the first couple of days.”
‘The second wave was the aftermath and developed the sinus, asthma, anxiety and depression.”
‘The third wave is the diseases that take years to manifest… the transformation from acute to chronic to permanent disease. That’s where we really are now.’
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Published Aug 15, 2018