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World Trade Center-exposed NYC firefighters face increased cancer risk
Date:9/1/2011

t. Dr. Prezant has previously published several studies regarding the lung health of WTC-exposed first responders. The Lancet study was the first effort to assess the incidence of cancer among an entire WTC-exposed cohort―in this case WTC-exposed firefighters.

The authors were given access to health records for all firefighters in the study dating back to 1996, well before 9/11, available as part of FDNY's rigorous health registry. The study investigators looked at cancer incidence and its possible association with exposure in the first seven years after 9/11. They compared the cancer incidence rates in WTC-exposed firefighters with cancer incidence in non-exposed firefighters and also with a sample of people selected from the U.S. National Cancer Institute's Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database who resembled the firefighters with respect to age, race and ethnic origin.

When cancer incidence among WTC-exposed male firefighters was compared with cancer incidence in the SEER general-population sample, WTC-exposed firefighters were found to have up to a 10 percent increased risk for all cancers combined. When the same comparison was made between WTC-exposed and non-exposed FDNY firefighters, the cancer risk for the WTC-exposed firefighters (adjusted for surveillance bias) was at least 19 percent increased, based on an excess of 38 cancer cases among the WTC-exposed firefighters.

In a report published two months before The Lancet study, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that evidence at that time did not demonstrate a causal association between exposures resulting from the attacks on the WTC and cancer occurrence in responders and survivors. For this reason, the WTC Health Program determined that "insufficient evidence" existed to add cancer to the List of WTC-Related Health Conditions. The La
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Contact: Kimberly Newman
sciencenews@einstein.yu.edu
718-430-3101
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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