Prostate cancer has been added to the list of cancers covered by the Zadroga 9/11 law -- 2 1/2 weeks before the deadline for registering for the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.
In September 2012, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health added about 60 cancers to the list of diseases covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010. But prostate cancer was not among them.
In May, the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association filed a petition to add the cancer. NIOSH published a proposed rule to add the cancer in July. Thursday, the final rule adding the cancer was posted on the Federal Register.
The rule comes close to the Oct. 3 deadline to register for the compensation fund. The fund is open to responders and survivors who suffer a range of illnesses as a result of exposure to the World Trade Center attacks or the cleanup. As of Sept. 15, the latest date for which statistics are available, more than 30,000 have registered.
Including prostate cancer on the list of covered ailments also means that responders with the disease can get medical care from the World Trade Center Health Program."This is a huge victory for those with prostate cancer," said John Feal, founder of the advocacy group FealGood Foundation. Feal said he would also like to see pancreatic cancer added to the list, as well as some heart ailments.
In the rule, Dr. John Howard, director of NIOSH and administrator of the World Trade Center Health Program, said the evidence of several new studies contributed to the addition of prostate cancer to the list. A study published in May of 25,000 responders found a 21 percent greater than expected incidence of prostate cancer.