9/11 health center not testing for prostate cancer despite concern

By Amber Jamieson, NY Post

Health authorities pushed for prostate cancer to be included on the list of 9/11 cancers in 2013, but Mount Sinai Hospital — which treats and studies them at its World Trade Center Health Program — doesn’t even test for it.

Potential cancer sufferers don’t realize they aren’t being tested, says patient James O’Connell, whose diagnosis of advanced prostate cancer was instead delivered by his primary-care doctor.

Five years ago, doctors discovered nodules on O’Connell’s lungs connected to his work as a first responder at Ground Zero, and he has been having twice-yearly monitoring exams at Mount Sinai’s WTCHP ever since.

As a federally funded program, the WTCHP must follow guidelines set by the US Preventive Services Task Force, which recommends against a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test for prostate cancer.

Sid Dinsay, a spokesperson for Mount Sinai, said that although the WTCHP didn’t screen for prostate cancer because of the national guidelines, “diagnostic, specialty consultation and treatment services are available for prostate-cancer patients through the WTCHP.”

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