Uterine cancers related to 9/11 now covered by WTC Health Program
Washington — NIOSH has added all types of uterine cancer to the list of health-related conditions covered by the agency’s World Trade Center Health Program.
According to a final rule published in the Jan. 18 Federal Register, WTC Health Program members with uterine cancer related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center are now eligible to have their treatments covered at no cost. Previously, the program covered all major types of cancer, except uterine cancer. Eligible members now qualify for additional program benefits, including monitoring, certain cancer screenings and benefits counseling.
“With the publication of this rule, a critical gap in coverage for women in the program has been eliminated,” NIOSH Director John Howard, administrator of the WTC Health Program, said in a press release. “All types of cancer, if determined to be related to 9/11 exposures, are now covered by the World Trade Center Health Program, providing women equal access to the treatment they deserve.”
The rulemaking process, according to the release, involved a review and evaluation of evidence on the causal relationship between 9/11 exposures and uterine cancers by the WTC Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee.
In a letter sent to Howard and Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra on Jan. 9, Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ) called for a quick finalization of the proposed rule, which was published May 10.
“While we certainly can never fully repay our nation’s deep gratitude to those who bravely responded during one of our nation’s darkest hours, I’m relieved the WTC Health Program will now cover all types of cancer,” Pallone said in a Jan. 17 press release.
According to the final rule, the rulemaking process began when Howard received requests from WTC responders, survivors and five of the WTC Health Program Clinical Centers of Excellence to add uterine cancer to the list of health conditions covered by the program.
NIOSH says more than 26,000 of the 121,000-plus members enrolled in the program are women.