The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center is still claiming victims.
Thousands of firefighters, police, other first responders and disaster volunteers, not to mention the people living and working in lower Manhattan that day, have developed many chronic and deadly conditions and cancers.
The top 10 certified conditions of first-responders and survivors according to the CDC's World Trade Center Health Program are chronic rhinosinusitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, cancer, sleep apnea, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic respiratory disorders, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), anxiety disorders, and major depressive disorders.
More than 50 different kinds of cancer are linked to exposure to the toxic dust plume released by the Twin Towers' destruction.
The top 10 certified cancers of first-responders and survivors according to the CDC's World Trade Center Health Program are non-melanoma skin, prostate, melanoma of the skin, breast (female), thyroid, lymphoma, lung, kidney, leukemia, and colon cancers.
The top two cancers, non-melanoma skin and prostate cancer, make up the majority number of all cases.
The doctors serving as MedicineNet's authors and editors weigh in on the symptoms of these 9/11-related conditions and cancers.
Sinusitis (Sinus Infection)
According to Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD, the following is a summary of predominant symptoms that may occur:
- Headache due to pressure in partially or completely blocked sinuses
- Facial tenderness and/or swelling
- Nasal pressure or pain
- Nasal drainage cloudy or discolored
- Nasal drainage clear or whitish-colored
- Post nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Tooth pain
- Ear pain
- Eye pain
- Bad breath
- Multiple chronic (over one to three months) symptoms usually are a sign of subacute or chronic sinusitis
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
According to Jay W. Marks, MD, the symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are primarily:
Complications of GERD:
- Barrett's Esophagus
- Cough and Asthma
- Inflammation of the Throat and Larynx
- Lung Inflammation and Infection
- Fluid in Sinuses and Middle Ear
According to Pamela I. Ellsworth, MD, symptoms of prostate problems (and prostate cancer) include urinary problems such as:
- Decreased force of urine stream
- Difficulty starting (hesitancy)
- The need to strain to urinate
- Stopping/starting of the urine stream (intermittency)
- Frequent urination
- Pain or burning during urination
- Erectile dysfunction
- Painful ejaculation
- Blood in urine or semen and/or deep back, hip, pelvic or abdominal pain
- Other symptoms may include weight loss, bone pain, and lower extremity swelling
Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer - Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD
According to Gary W. Cole, MD, FAAD, signs and symptoms of basal cell carcinomas include:
- Appearance of a shiny pink, red, pearly, or translucent bump
- Pink skin growths or lesions with raised borders that are crusted in the center
- Raised reddish patch of skin that may crust or itch, but is usually not painful
- A white, yellow, or waxy area with a poorly defined border that may resemble a scar
Signs and symptoms of squamous cell carcinomas include:
- Persistent, scaly red patches with irregular borders that may bleed easily
- Open sore that does not go away for weeks
- A raised growth with a rough surface that is indented in the middle
- A wart-like growth