NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2013) - Prostate cancer will now be covered by the Zadroga 9/11 Act, which provides healthcare funding for survivors of the September 11th attacks, as well as World Trade Center responders and recovery workers. The new ruling by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services comes just in time for the October registration deadlines.
Thanks to the new law, men who participated in the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero are eligible for free prostate cancer screening and prostate cancer treatment through 2015. David Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and robotic prostate surgery expert, is pleased that prostate cancer is included among the approximately 50 other cancers and respiratory conditions eligible for support.
"Prostate cancer, like 9/11, is much bigger than New York City. My heart remains with those who worked tirelessly in the aftermath of September 11th," said Dr. Samadi. "These brave men and their families now have the support and assurance of routine prostate cancer screening. Register now is key; then, if prostate cancer is diagnosed, treatment will be covered."
Since 9/11 researchers and the medical community have attempted to quantify the physical and emotional impact of the attacks on the people of the greater New York area. Even 12 years later, experts believe it is still too soon to understand the magnitude of diseases caused by exposure to debris and carcinogens when the towers fell and during the lengthy rescue, recovery, and cleanup process.
Prostate cancer's addition to the Zadroga Act is based partly on findings of a 17 percent increased risk of prostate cancer among World Trade Center first responders and rescue workers. A longitudinal study of World Trade Center Health Registry enrollees from 2007-2008 found that early responders and recovery workers were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, thyroid cancer, and the blood cancer, multiple myeloma. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1486831&resultClick=3
"Exposure to environmental toxins can take many years to manifest as cancer," stressed Dr. Samadi. "We continue to explore how the environment may cause or accelerate the onset of prostate cancer. We do know that early diagnosis is critical to life-saving treatment such as robotic prostate surgery."
Other known prostate cancer risk factors include a family history of the disease, age (65+), obesity, and African American descent.
New York Police Department Detective, James Zadroga, died in 2006 as the result of a respiratory disease directly attributed to exposure following 9/11. Zadroga was the first to have his illness and death deemed the result of his time at Ground Zero.
Learn more at prostate cancer screening, diagnosis, and treatment at www.roboticoncology.com or by calling Dr. Samadi at The Lenox Hill Hospital Prostate Cancer Center, 212-365-5000.