July 8, 2007 -- An alarming number of FDNY firefighters are battling a rare cancer that typically targets women, The Post has learned.
At least eight firefighters have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer over the past five years. Another five have undergone partial or full thyroidectomies after their doctors discovered abnormal cell growth that could lead to cancer around the glands.
The cluster has sprung up among those who responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 or helped in recovery and cleanup afterward, firefighters said.
The relatively rare illness is known to affect women at three times the rate it hits males. The FDNY cases involve only men.
The National Cancer Institute put the incidence rate at 4.3 per 100,000 men - much lower than the eight cases among approximately 11,000 firefighters on the FDNY force on 9/11.
Attorney David Worby, who represents nearly 10,000 WTC responders in a class-action suit, said he has tracked "a large cluster" of thyroid cancers among his clients, which include thousands of firefighters and cops.
Overall, at least 125 active and retired firefighters - all Ground Zero responders - have contracted some type of cancer since 2001, according to figures gathered by the Uniformed Firefighters Association.
FDNY officials declined to comment .
Republished with permission from the New York Post