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Answers about treatment for Sept. 11-related cancer

An article in Newsday answers questions that readers might have about the 60 forms of cancer related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks now covered through the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently added certain forms of cancer to the fund, established in 2010 and named for police detective James Zadroga, who died after working at Ground Zero.

The list of covered cancers includes mesothelioma, which affects the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body called the mesothelium. It’s caused primarily by exposure to asbestos.

The toxic cloud of dust that permeated Ground Zero after the attacks included asbestos particles.

Points about the new coverage mentioned in the Newsday article include the following:

– It’s unclear when somebody who has a condition covered under the updated guidelines will be able to start getting treatment. The rule doesn’t go into effect until Oct. 12, and NIOSH is putting together final guidelines that will detail how to get certified for treatment.

– The process of getting certified for treatment will include two steps. In the New York metropolitan area, the patient will have to go to one of the NIOSH’s clinical centers to see a doctor, who must verify that the person had “very clear environmental exposure.” The application will then be sent to NIOSH administrator Dr. John Howard for ultimate approval.

– The treatment will vary for patients who are certified. For first responders who provided emergency services at the site, the health program will provide and pay for all cancer treatments, drugs and services. For survivors who weren’t first responders, the program is the “payer of last resort,” meaning that any health insurance the patient has will apply first. The health program will reimburse any out-of-pocket costs.

If you or a loved one have contracted mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure, contact Lopez McHugh for a free consultation.

See the story here: