Yes, a link does exist between cancer and Ground Zero.
That’s what a new study from the FDNY reportedly says, as New York’s Bravest fight back against a federal report that concluded there is not enough evidence to prove cancer was caused by 9/11.
The report, expected out around Sept. 11, directly contradicts the government’s findings and will show that blood cancers increased among firefighters who worked on “the pile,” the smoldering remains of Ground Zero in the weeks and months after 9/11.
In July, a report from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health concluded that not enough research is available to tie responders’ cancers to Ground Zero toxins.
But the New York Post reported Tuesday that the FDNY’s chief medical officer, Dr. David Prezant, compared the data of 11,000 firefighters’ health before and after the terrorist attacks. The resulting research shows that firefighters who responded to the World Trade Center have increased rates of cancer, compared to those firefighters who did not.
The news gave a bit of hope to Margaret and Jeff Stroehlein, a firefighter fighting brain cancer — but they’re not celebrating yet.
“I think it’s a positive sign, but again, until it’s official, you can see all the positive signs you want,” he said. “Guys are dying.”
For the Stroehleins, reality looms in the form of a $220,000 hospital bill they just received — for three weeks of treatment in July.
“It’s no secret we’re feeling rejected,” Margaret said. “I’m getting nervous, and the bills are starting to get larger for Jeff.”
“$220,000,” he added. “Where are we coming up with that money?”
Follow Alison Bowen on Twitter @AlisonatMetro.