Head and Neck Cancer in World Trade Center Responders: A Case Series

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Abstract

Objective:

The aim of this study was to report on cases of head and neck cancer (HNC) among World Trade Center (WTC) responders participating in the WTC Health Program and seen at Rutgers WTC Center of Clinical Excellence.

Methods:

Medical records were abstracted by two clinical reviewers and discrepancies resolved. Cases were defined as WTC responders diagnosed with HNC between December 9, 2005, and December 31, 2016.

Results:

Sixteen HNC patients met the case definition, most (13) arrived at the WTC location on 9/11 or within the following 2 days, and half worked in law enforcement during the 9/1 response.

Conclusion:

An association between HNC and WTC exposure is biologically plausible and should be further investigated. Research to enumerate the risk factor profile for these cancers may contribute to understanding mechanisms by which WTC exposure can contribute to carcinogenesis and to prevention and early detection strategies.

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