A new type of cancer has been added to the Rutgers University World Trade Center Health Program’s list of health conditions being treated.

According to Iris Udasin, the director of the WTC Health Program, women who worked as responders at Ground Zero or nearby after the 9/11 attacks will now receive full coverage from the Health Program for treatment of cancer of the uterus.

She said after the terror attack that leveled the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, an increasing number of first responders have become ill with a wide range of cancers and other illnesses and the list of conditions covered by the Health Program has been growing.

A disturbing trend was noticed

The effort to include uterine cancer among covered conditions began when Udasin noticed several cases among first responders she was treating.

She discussed the matter with Judith Graber, an associate professor at the Rutgers School of Public Health and they agreed that the cancers were most likely caused by Ground Zero exposure, so they decided to ask the federal government for coverage.

Udasin said their efforts were successful so “women with uterine cancer can be treated through the program the same as the rest of our cancer patients can be treated through the program.”

What inclusion in the program means

She said this means “they don’t have to worry about co-pays and whether they have the right insurance to see the right doctor, and very important is we can cover CAT scans and MRI’s and any other kind of scans they need.”

Ground Zero 9/11 Memorial Site in Manhattan, New York City
onurkurtic GettyImages

She said the Health Program is also helping “women entitled to victim compensation awards, the same way men have received victim compensation awards for their cancers.”

She noted less than 5% of responders receiving treatment at the Health Center are women.

The World Trade Center Health Program remains open for enrollment. For information on how to apply you can visit www.cdc.gov/wtc or call 1-888-982-4748.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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