Recently, lung cancer and many other cancers were added to the list of diseases covered by the Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Fund.
We appreciate the work of the World Trade Center Health Program and commend the decision to expand the list of eligible diseases .
At the same time, we urge the inclusion of low dose CT screening for lung cancer.
While breast and colon cancer screenings are included, lung cancer screening, even for those at high risk, is not. The overall five-year survival rate for breast cancer is 89% and colon cancer 64.5% due to early stage diagnosis. In comparison, the overall 5-year survival rate for lung cancer is 15%, and only 16% of cases are diagnosed at an early stage.
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 many of the leading medical professional organizations.
We need to do everything possible to ensure the 9/11 survivors and responders have the benefit of all the tools available to detect cancers at their earliest and most curable stages.