Today, Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) praised the decision this week to add lung cancer and other cancers to the list of diseases covered by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Fund.
The Zadroga fund was established by Congress in 2010 to provide health benefits for the survivors and responders to the 9/11 disaster.
Initially cancers were excluded from the diseases covered by the $4.3 billion fund but subsequent review of scientific evidence led to the changes made by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) on Tuesday, the anniversary of 9/11.
Laurie Fenton Ambrose, LCA President and CEO, praised the decision to include cancer coverage.
But, in a letter sent yesterday to James Melius, MD, DrPH, Chair of the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and John Howard MD, the Director of the WTCHP at NIOSH, she also urged that screening for lung cancer be included with breast and colon cancer screening.
"We need to do everything possible to make sure that the 9/11 survivors and responders have the benefit of all the tools available to detect cancers at their earliest and most curable stages," Fenton Ambrose wrote.
Low dose CT screening for those at high risk for lung cancer has been scientifically proven by the National Cancer Institute to dramatically reduce lung cancer deaths and has been endorsed by some of the leading medical professional organizations, including the National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC).