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Prostate Cancer May Be Added to List of Covered 9/11 Illnesses

By Eliza Fawcett | July 2, 2013 3:58pm
 Emergency responders working at Ground Zero. 
Emergency responders working at Ground Zero. 
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Ap Photo/Mark Lennihan

NEW YORK — Prostate cancer could soon be added to the list of 9/11-related illnesses covered by the Zadroga Act, officials announced Tuesday.

Following a major push by advocates for the federal government's World Trade Center Health Program to compensate 9/11 first responders and Downtown residents who have been diagnosed with prostate cancer, federal officials formally proposed covering the illness on Tuesday.

The proposal will now undergo a 30-day public comment period, after which Dr. John Howard, the administrator of the WTC Health Program, will make a final decision.

The New York City Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association submitted a petition to Howard May 2 requesting that prostate cancer be covered under the $4.3 million Zadroga Act, which provides medical treatment and financial compensation for 9/11 responders and survivors. The act currently covers many cancers, but not prostate cancer.

The Patrolmen's Benevolent Association based the petition on an April 2013 study of 25,000 World Trade Center responders, which showed that those who had been exposed to Ground Zero toxins had a 15 percent higher cancer rate than the general public. The higher cancer rates were particularly evident in prostate, thyroid and blood cancers, according to reports.

To submit a comment about the proposed inclusion of prostate cancer, click here.