Neighborhood Chatter: Cancer Care Added for 9/11 First Responders

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After several heated hours, on Wednesday, March 28, the 15-member World Trade Center Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) decided that the federal government should cover treatment of thyroid cancer, melanoma, cancer of the respiratory and digestive systems, breast cancer, soft tissue sarcomas, eye cancer, oral cavity cancer, ovarian cancer, urinary tract cancer, leukemia, lymphoma and all childhood and rare cancers. Other types of cancer-prostate, brain and pancreatic-were excluded from the list because of a lack of correlating evidence in victims. Whether cancer would be recommended for inclusion in the Zadroga Act saw renewed attention when the likes of State Sen. Daniel Squadron and City Council Member Margaret Chin advocated alongside 9/11 first responders for the addition on the steps of City Hall in February. The federal government's WTC health program administrator, Dr. John Howard, has 60 days to weigh in on the committee's decision and decide which cancers will be included in the bill. According to a press release sent on behalf of Winuk Communications by spokesperson Cindy Miller, "The STAC Committee's recommendation is now in the hands of Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, who will decide whether to accept, in whole or in part, the recommendations."

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