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The most recent review of the link between cancer in veterans of the September 11 attack and cleanup has postponed hopes of the illness being included among those eligible for government help. The review has disappointed advocates for 9/11 cancer victims but there is still believed to be hope — the first review on the connection between exposure to chemicals following the collapse of the towers and development of cancer has concluded that more study is needed to determine the exact correlation.
John Feal of the FeelGood Foundation told the Huffington Post “They couldn’t find the evidence, but we have the evidence and we have the statistics.” He is relying on future studies to confirm the foundation’s observations, “I’m confident that when the new study comes out, the link will be established.”
The reason behind the new study’s measured result is, according to Dr. John Howard, leader of the WTC Health Program, that evidence is still lacking to justify including cancer as a government responsibility under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.
However, the Doctor added: “It is important to point out that the current absence of published scientific and medical findings [...] does not indicate evidence of the absence of casual association.”
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has demanded that the review process be sped up for the sake of the families who suffer the physical and financial burden of illness. “The longer they have to wait on a cancer determination, the longer our 9/11 heroes will continue to suffer without proper treatment or compensation,” the New York Democrat said in a letter to the administrators. Another review will not be available until early to mid-2012.