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9/11 Responders May Be At Raised Myeloma Risk
Date:8/10/2009

rom the fires that raged at the World Trade Center site for three months after 9/11. The chemicals included several known carcinogens, some of which have been linked to a heightened risk of multiple myeloma.

Other health issues arising from the disaster that have already documented include a persistent "World Trade Center cough" in firefighters, along with increased levels of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and asthma.

According to a study released last week, new symptoms of PTSD have been reported as long as five and six years after the incident, although new cases of asthma have nearly returned to baseline levels.

However, there has been little information so far on cancer cases tied to the attack.

Of 28,252 responders being followed as part of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program, eight cases of multiple myeloma were diagnosed between Sept. 11, 2001 and Sept. 10, 2007.

Slightly more than six cases would be expected in the general population during a similar time frame, the researchers noted.

Even more intriguing, four of the cases were in men under the age of 45 when they were diagnosed. This compared to the 1.2 such cases that would be expected in the general population. There are actually slightly fewer cases than expected among responders 45 and over, the researchers noted.

All four cases were male law enforcement officers. None reported any other occupational exposure that might have raised their risk for this malignancy.

Three were present at the site on the day of the attack, when the dust cloud was heaviest. One of these spent 18 to 19 hours a day at Ground Zero, eating his meals there.

The other man worked near the site for almost two weeks following 9/11.

Their ages at time of diagnosis were 34, 37, 40 and 43 years, respectively.

"In all fairness, it is unusual for this patient population to have multiple my
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