Incidence of Specific Cancers Up for WTC Rescue Workers

Prostate, thyroid cancers, multiple myeloma up for world trade center rescue/recovery workers

TUESDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- For rescue/recovery workers at the World Trade Center (WTC), the incidence of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma was increased for 2007 to 2008, according to a study published in the Dec. 19 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Jiehui Li, M.B.B.S., from the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in Long Island City, and colleagues conducted an observational study to examine cancer incidence among 55,778 New York State residents enrolled in the WTC Health Registry, including 21,850 rescue workers and 33,928 not involved in rescue/recovery. Through linkage with 11 state cancer registries, cancer cases were identified, focusing on cancers identified in 2007 to 2008 as those most likely to be related to exposure during September 11 and its aftermath.

The researchers identified 1,187 incident cancers. There was no significant increase in the standardized incidence ratio (SIR) for all cancer sites combined in 2007 to 2008 for rescue/recovery workers compared with those not involved in rescue/recovery. For rescue/recovery workers, the SIRs for prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, and multiple myeloma were significantly increased by 2007 to 2008 (1.43, 2.02, and 2.85, respectively, per 100,000 person-years). Those not involved in rescue/recovery had no increased incidence for these types of cancers in 2007 to 2008. Within each cohort, the intensity of WTC exposure did not correlate with cancer of the lung, prostate, thyroid, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, or hematological cancer for rescue/recovery workers or the other group.

"In summary, this study found significantly increased prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma among rescue/recovery workers in the later period that were not significantly associated with intensity of WTC exposures," the authors write.

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