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9-11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Prostate Cancer

Jul 17, 2019

9-11 Responders Have Higher Rates of Prostate CancerRates of prostate cancer are higher among first responders who handled operations at New York City’s World Trade Center (WTC) following the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. And now, scientists think they might have an explanation.

Their research, published in June 2019 in Molecular Cancer Research, suggests that toxic dust inhaled at the WTC site could be to blame.

The dust contains “carcinogens and tumor-promoting agents,” that could be linked to DNA damage, cell proliferation, and chronic inflammation, the authors wrote.

The researchers compared two groups of prostate tissue samples. The first came from 15 men who had been exposed to WTC dust and developed prostate cancer. The second came from men who had prostate cancer, but had not been exposed to WTC dust.

When comparing the samples, the scientists discovered that the men exposed to WTC dust showed greater degrees of inflammation and genetic change that could contribute to cancer.

Next, the researchers worked with rats to learn more about WTC dust and prostate inflammation. After 30 days of dust exposure, the rats had genetic changes in their prostate tissue related to inflammation.

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