In New York City, health officials say the number of people who have been diagnosed with 9/11-linked cancers has tripled. Nearly 5,500 first responders and local residents have now been diagnosed with cancers linked to the toxic smoke and dust of 9/11. Health officials have called the increase “alarming.”

More than 5,400 Ground Zero responders and others who lived, worked or went to school near the fallen Twin Towers have come down with 9/11-linked cancers, a grim tally that has tripled in the past two and a half years.  As of June 30, 2016, exactly 5,441 people enrolled in the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program have been diagnosed with 6,378 separate cancers, with some struck by more than one type, officials said.  In January 2014, there were 1,822 victims.

“You see an alarming increase,” said Dr. Michael Crane, medical director of the WTC Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.  “It’s been steady for at least the last year and a half — we’re seeing new people here being certified for cancer 10 to 15 times week. That’s every week. ”

At that pace, his medical center alone will certify over 500 911 cancers in the next 12 months.  The program monitors more than 48,000 police officers, construction workers, volunteer firefighters, utility workers and others who selflessly responded at Ground Zero.

The program now monitors more than 48,000 cops, hardhats, volunteer firefighters, utility workers and others who toiled at Ground Zero. The FDNY has its own 9/11 health program with 16,000 members.  In all, at least 1,140 have died, officials said.  The feds have listed more than 50 types of cancer believed to be related to the toxic smoke and dust of 9/11. Those afflicted may seek payments from the 9/11 ­Victim Compensation Fund.

Congress passed the James Zadroga Reauthorization Act last December.  The 9/11 Zadroga Reauthorization Act provides lifetime monitoring and 100% healthcare coverage for victims with 911 cancers through the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).  You can enroll and get screened for cancer, no matter where you live in the nation, by calling 1-888-982-4748.

The new Zadroga Act also provides compensation to victims through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund recently re-opened for new claims.    Unfortunately, they are also seeing a large increase in 9/11 first responders, cleanup workers, downtown residents and workers (below Canal Street) calling about 9/11 Zadroga Act eligibility.

Reminder: If you or a loved one were present in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street anytime between September 11th 2001  and May 30th 2002, and have been diagnosed with cancer, you can call 1-855-WTC-INFO to see if you are eligible for free health care and compensation under the 9/11 Zadroga Act.