At least 15 men who were near the World Trade Center (WTC) site, also known as Ground Zero, after the 9/11 attacks have reportedly been diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the New York Post.
Barasch & McGarry, a law firm that represents health cases associated with the September 11, 2001 terror attack, told the news outlet that it currently has over a dozen male clients with breast cancer who developed the condition over the years after the terror strike. Reports state that these men either lived or worked around the WTC when the attack happened.
At least five of the 15 men diagnosed with the cancer are reportedly 9/11 responders, which includes two city firefighters and a New York Police Department sergeant. Others include a highway repairman, a student who lived downtown at the time and an ironworker.
The Post reported that men account for only one percent of people diagnosed with breast cancer in the country. One of the affected men, 65-year-old Jeff Flynn, a former account manager for data storage company Dell EMC, ignored a lump on his chest for months before his wife noticed that his nipple was "inverting".
"I ignored it for a number of months. I didn’t even know men could get breast cancer," Flynn told the Post and was later diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer.
The recent revelation is among multiple health struggle cases linked to people who spent time near or at Ground Zero. The outlet reports that nearly 10,000 people have sustained cancers which have been associated with toxic dust and smoke at the scene.
The New York Fire Department chief, who headed the recovery efforts at the WTC, died of cancer earlier this year. Reports state that he developed the cancer because of the toxins he was exposed to at the site of the attack.
“It’s like cancer on steroids,” said lawyer Michael Barasch. A 51-year-old commodities broker and a triathlete, John Mormondo, is among the victims who was diagnosed with breast cancer in March last year while he was preparing to participate in an Iron Man contest.
"There is a very strong possibility this is linked to 9/11. There’s not a history of cancer in my family,” Mormondo told The Post.