At Least 15 Men Near Ground Zero Have Breast Cancer

At least 15 men who worked near Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks have been diagnosed with breast cancer, a New York City law firm claims.

According to CBS News, one of the firm's clients worked for a data storage company near the World Trade Center and was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

"I thought it was a cyst or a gland and I ignored it for a while," he told CBS News. "And that was the wrong thing to do because it spread to my lymph nodes."

"The diagnosis was pretty bleak at the time," he told CBS, but after receiving treatment and then going through a relapse, he is now cancer-free.

John Mormando worked as a commodities broker in the World Trade Center area until 2007. He was preparing to compete an Iron Man race when he noticed a lump on his chest.

He went in for testing soon after and learned he had breast cancer.

"I was totally floored," Mormando said. "We know breast cancer is a popular disease, unfortunately, but for men, it's very rare. And I had it in both breasts, believe it or not."

Some studies have concluded that those exposed to the World Trade Center site, including firefighters and recovery workers, "will experience a greater cancer burden than would be expected from a demographically similar population," according to CBS.

The World Trade Center Health Program, established by Congress, provides treatment for a specific list of physical and mental health conditions that have been determined to be caused by exposure to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The program covers 68 cancers, including breast cancer.

For their part, Flynn and Mormando want to raise awareness about male breast cancer.

"We want to get the word out to other men because it is very rare and men tend to ignore it and don't see a physician," Flynn said.

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