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WTC Responder? Get a Thyroid Check

According to information released by the New York Police Department (NYPD) in September, incidence rates of two types of cancer have soared among first responders in recent years. 

Although increased rates of cancer and other diseases among those exposed to toxic pollutants on and after September 11 is no surprise, Dr. Eli Kleinman, chief surgeon for the NYPD, noted the rate for thyroid cancer among department members had risen by a factor of 10 and rates of non-Hodgkins lymphoma have risen by a factor of three since the terrorist attacks. 

In releasing the information, Dr. Kleinman notes results of an ongoing study will not be available for several months but getting information to those exposed is essential. Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly suggests you have yourself checked. 

Thyroid cancer occurs in the butterfly shaped gland located at the front base of your neck. Treatable when caught early, symptoms of thyroid cancer include the following: 

  • A lump or swelling at the base of the neck that may appear rapidly
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Trouble swallowing, pain at the base of the neck sometimes extending upward 

Non-Hodgkins lymphoma occurs within the lymphatic system located throughout the body. Symptoms can include the following: 

  • Night sweats
  • Coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the armpits, groin or neck
  • Pain or swelling in the abdominal area 

As a responder or clean-up operator at a WTC site, you face a lifetime of concern about increased rates of serious illness. Speak with your doctor and talk to experienced legal counsel in New York about compensation and care that can assist you.

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