FDNY Thyroid Cancer Shock

FDNY Thyroid Cancer Shock
Source: NY Post


July 8, 2007 -- An alarming number of FDNY firefighters are battling a rare cancer that typically targets women, The Post has learned.

At least eight firefighters have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer over the past five years. Another five have undergone partial or full thyroidectomies after their doctors discovered abnormal cell growth that could lead to cancer around the glands.

The cluster has sprung up among those who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 or helped in recovery and cleanup afterward, firefighters said.

The relatively rare illness is known to affect women at three times the rate it hits males. The FDNY cases involve only men.

The National Cancer Institute put the incidence rate at 4.3 per 100,000 men - much lower than the eight cases among approximately 11,000 firefighters on the FDNY force on 9/11.

Attorney David Worby, who represents nearly 10,000 WTC responders in a class-action suit, said he has tracked "a large cluster" of thyroid cancers among his clients, which include thousands of firefighters and cops.

Overall, at least 125 active and retired firefighters - all Ground Zero responders - have contracted some type of cancer since 2001, according to figures gathered by the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

FDNY officials declined to comment .


I would assume the situation is getting worse

since the attack, the government has been trying to deny that these cancers were associated with expose at ground zero.

Some comments from a website hosted by the PBA for first responders with health problems.

No one has posted to it for awhile, but the entries are very interesting. It's heartbreaking what is happening to these people.


Posted by: Anonymous | July 25, 2006 09:41 AM

I was at WTC & SI Landfill for about 73 days which adds up to around 890 hrs. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last year, had all my thyroid removed, treated with radiation and currently taking thyroid replacement meds. I go back to the hospital at the end of August for a scan. Hopefully, this cancer won't come back.

In the meantime, doctors discovered I'm in the early stages of a 2nd cancer, a blood cancer called myeloma. Found this one by sheer luck. I'm now waiting to begin clinical trials at a cancer hosptial in the city.

Two cancers within a year. What's next?

Posted by: luckyorphan | July 26, 2006 01:35 PM

Two more people are added to the Registry that have thyroid cancer. Sad to say this, but I'm glad I'm not alone. For more than a year, the medical community said it's unlikely WTC had anything to do with my thyroid cancer. What do they have to say now? I've heard there's more MOS out there with it too.

Posted by: Kathy Fitz | September 8, 2006 10:26 AM

I responded to the WTC on 9-11-01 as a volunteer EMT. Was heavily exposed to the thick air soup all day, and was at one point inundated.

Just had 1/2 my thyroid removed due to nodules diagnosed as suspicious, and am waiting for pathology report. Have had many difficulties with fatigue, asthma, GERD, gastro problems, constant feeling of irritation at back of throat, headaches, odd skin lesions on knees and elbows. I am told, however, that there is no correlation at this time between thyroid problems and WTC exposure.

Posted by: tom mc | December 28, 2006 12:36 AM

When I was diagonsed with thyroid cancer, Lefrak said I would be denied because that cancer is in remission.

I haven't tried again since I was diagnosed with the early stages of myeloma.



Since this type of cancer is only known to be caused by exposure to radiation, wouldn't this outbreak be an indicator that some sort of fusion device was deployed at Ground Zero?

Iodine 131 ?

DoYouEverWonder wrote:

>Since this type of cancer is only known to be caused by exposure to radiation
>wouldn't this outbreak be an indicator that some sort of fusion device
>was deployed at Ground Zero?

Thyroid cancer is not correlated so much with radiation exposure in general, but with a particular radioactive isotope, Iodine-131, a waste product of fission (not fusion) reactions. This can come down as part of the fallout from above-ground weapons tests, and was also released during the Chernobyl accident. I doubt *all* thyroid cancers are I-131 related, in any case.

Iodine tablets are kept on hand as part of the response plan to potential nuclear accidents. Since the gland can absorb only a certain amount of iodine at a time, saturating it with the "normal", non-radiactive variant can help protect against I-131 exposure.


With a half life of just over 8 days, though, if any was present at the WTC site just after 9/11, it's likely all gone by now. But, the short half-life also means this stuff can't be stored for very long-- were there any tenants in the buildings who might have had reason to have fresh I-131 on hand? Any any medical or scientific labs at the WTC? I've never spotted any on tenant lists...