The US government has decided to recognize around 50 different types of cancer that victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks have been diagnosed with after more than a decade-long wait that has left hundreds dead without proper care or diagnosis.
Civilians and first responders that survived the September 11, 2001 attacks but developed cases of varying cancers in the aftermath will now be covered by a government-administered health care program that will provide them with complimentary check-ups and screenings. The decision will apply to survivors of both crashes at the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, DC.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety made the announcement Monday, adding dozens of diseases — including cancers of the breast, bladder and lung, colorectal cancer, leukemias, melanoma and childhood cancers — to an already substantial list of diseases that are covered.
“The publication of this final rule marks an important step in the effort to provide needed treatment and care to 9/11 responders and survivors through the WTC Health Program,” NIOSH director Dr. John Howard said in a statement this week.
In a separate address, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “We have urged from the very beginning that the decision whether or not to include cancer be based on science.” For several years, however, many victims and physicians have made countless claims that the effects of the attacks in NYC and DC did in fact contribute to developing debilitating diseases.