Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World Trade Center rescue, recovery workers have had increased incidence of certain types of cancer

Date:
December 18, 2012
Source:
American Medical Association (AMA)
Summary:
Among rescue and recovery workers exposed to the dust, debris, and fumes following the World Trade Center terrorist attack, there was an increased incidence of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma, although it is not clear how big a factor medical screening and non-WTC risk factors contributed to these increases

Among rescue and recovery workers exposed to the dust, debris, and fumes following the World Trade Center terrorist attack, there was an increased incidence of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma, although it is not clear how big a factor medical screening and non-WTC risk factors contributed to these increases, according to a study in the December 19 issue of JAMA. The authors did not find a statistically significant increased incidence for all cancer sites combined, and note that the findings on the three cancers that did increase should be viewed with caution for several reasons, including that they were based on a small number of cancers, multiple comparisons, and a relatively short follow-up time.

"The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) on September 11, 2001, claimed more than 2,700 lives and exposed hundreds of thousands of people to dust, debris, pulverized building materials, and potentially toxic emissions, resulting in short- and medium-term health effects," according to background information in the article. The dust, smoke, and aerosols were complex mixtures of volatile chemicals and respirable particulate matter and contained known and suspected carcinogens. "The presence of carcinogenic agents raises the possibility that exposure to the WTC environment could eventually lead to cancers."

Jiehui Li, M.B.B.S., M.Sc., of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Long Island City, New York, and colleagues conducted a study to evaluate cancer incidence among WTC rescue/recovery workers and volunteers and those not involved with rescue/recovery work. The observational study included 55,778 New York State residents enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Registry in 2003-2004, including rescue/recovery workers (n = 21,850) and those not involved in rescue/recovery (n = 33,928), who were followed-up from enrollment through December 2008. Within-group comparisons using various models also assessed the relationship between intensity of World Trade Center exposure and selected cancers.

Cancer cases were identified through linkage with 11 state cancer registries. Standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) adjusted for age, race/ethnicity, and sex were computed with 2003-2008 New York State rates as the reference, focusing on cancers diagnosed in 2007-2008 as being most likely to be related to exposure during September 11 and its aftermath. The total and site-specific incidence rate differences between the study population and the New York State population in 2007-2008 also were calculated.

Through December 31, 2008, 1,187 incident cancers were reported among the 55,778 eligible enrollees. Of these 1,187 cancers, 439 (37 percent) were diagnosed among rescue/recovery workers and 748 (63 percent) were among participants not involved in rescue/recovery. The median (midpoint) age at diagnosis across all cancer sites was 57 years. For all sites combined, cancer incidence was not significantly different from that in the reference population during either the early period (enrollment through 2006) or the later period (2007-2008). The researchers found that of the 23 cancer sites investigated, 3 had significantly elevated incidence during the later period: prostate, thyroid, and multiple myeloma. Of these 3, thyroid cancer also was significantly elevated during the early period.

"No increased incidence was observed in 2007-2008 among those not involved in rescue/recovery. Using within-cohort comparisons, the intensity of World Trade Center exposure was not significantly associated with cancer of the lung, prostate, thyroid, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or hematological cancer in either group," the authors write.

"Given the relatively short follow-up time and lack of data on medical screening and other risk factors, the increase in prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma should be interpreted with caution. The etiological role of WTC exposures in these 3 cancers is unclear. Longer follow-up of rescue/recovery workers and participants not involved in rescue/recovery is needed with attention to selected cancer sites and to examine risk for cancers with typically long latency periods."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Medical Association (AMA). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Li J, Cone JE, Kahn AR, et al. Association Between World Trade Center Exposure and Excess Cancer Risk. JAMA, 2012;308(23):2479-2488 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2012.110980

Cite This Page:

American Medical Association (AMA). "World Trade Center rescue, recovery workers have had increased incidence of certain types of cancer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218161752.htm>.
American Medical Association (AMA). (2012, December 18). World Trade Center rescue, recovery workers have had increased incidence of certain types of cancer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218161752.htm
American Medical Association (AMA). "World Trade Center rescue, recovery workers have had increased incidence of certain types of cancer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121218161752.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins