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Saturday, September 14, 2013

More than 1,100 have cancer after 9/11

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Reggie Hilaire was a rookie cop on September 11, 2001.

He worked at ground zero for 11 days beside his colleagues -- many of them, including Hilaire, not wearing a mask. He was later assigned to a landfill in Staten Island, where debris from the World Trade Center was dumped.

For about 60 days between 2001 and 2002, the New York police officer was surrounded by dust.

In 2005, Hilaire was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He underwent surgery and radiation. Just months later his doctor told him he also had multiple myeloma, a blood cancer that multiplies the body's plasma cells to dangerous levels.

It's a cancer that usually strikes much later in life. Hilaire was 34.

More than 1,100 people who worked or lived near the World Trade Center on 9/11 have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A few months ago Hilaire received a letter from the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, officially offering him medical insurance under the World Trade Center Health Program. About 1,140 people have been certified to receive cancer treatment under the WTC Health Program, a representative told CNN.

These are the first numbers released since the program was expanded a year ago.

In September 2012, federal health authorities added 58 types of cancer to the list of covered illnesses for people who were exposed to toxins at the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.

Dr. John Howard,...

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