[Image from Time magazine article]
As a native New Yorker, I hold a heavy heart every September 11 for the thousands who died and the thousands who survived. But I have a special connection for the heroic first responders and recovery workers who helped during the aftermath, like firefighters, police officers, and medical personnel.
Not just because I’m a New Yorker, but because I am also a doctor.
Over the years, I’ve read many studies about the numerous health issues these brave individuals have experienced, such as a higher risk of cancers, like thyroid, melanoma, and multiple myeloma as well as heart disease and asthma.
And you now can add prostate cancer to the list.
A study in the August 2019 Molecular Cancer Research. found a higher incidence of prostate cancer among 9/11 responders and it may be related to their exposure to the debris dust from the collapsed World Trade Centers (WTC). (Dust exposure is often cited as the contributor to the other responder health problems, too.)
Analysis has found that dust from the WTC was a mixture of many potentially toxic materials, such as asbestos, silica, benzene, polychlorinated biphenyls, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, volatile organic compounds, and metals.
In this study, researchers looked to explain why WTC first responders have a higher incidence of prostate cancer. Was it due to exposure to carcinogens in the WTC dust, or was a result of surveillance bias—they are more likely to get diagnosed because of over screening and testing? (In other words, if you keep looking for a certain result you are bound to find it.)
The researchers compared prostate cancer tumors from 15 WTC responders and 14 non-responders, and found that the responder’s tumors had a significant increase of genes involved in DNA damage. The researchers also saw the same reaction in rats that were exposed to WTC dust.
The reason for this genetic DNA damage? It was believed that inhaling high volumes of dust may have triggered high levels of inflammation and changed immune mechanisms in prostate tissue. The result: a higher likelihood of prostate cancer.
Some people may think breathing in or absorbing toxins through the skin would only affect the lungs or heart, but this study suggests that the damage can spread to other organs, too.
The results are just another example of the impact environmental factors can have on prostate cancer. They not only may increase your prostate cancer risk, but also make existing cancer more aggressive.
This is why I always advocate protecting yourself as much as possible from pollutants and chemical exposures from the environment. In fact, the researchers noted that their results could help people be more cautious of the dangers from other environmental exposures, such as car emissions, industrial smoke, power generation, and household products.
There is still much we don’t know about the possible health risks from our everyday environment, but as this study shows, the potential dangers are real and widespread and something else you should consider when managing your prostate cancer.
Lastly, much of my life’s work is helping men prevent or successfully manage prostate cancer with natural and lifestyle approaches.
The science-based program, The CaPLESS Method (CM) has successfully helped men create a microenvironment hostile to prostate cancer for close to a decade.
The amazing results I have seen are not only in cancer regression but also in reducing side effects from medical treatments like Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT).
It does so by doing five things:
- Lower chronic inflammation
- Strengthen the Immune System
- Promote the body’s ability to detoxify (this is how we think people are protected from environmental carcinogens like the chemicals from 9/11)
- Improve insulin production and blood sugar
- Protect cells against oxidative stress and free radicals
The Bottom line:
I am saddened by the lives lost on 9/11. I too think of the lives lost decades after 9/11/01 from toxic exposure to carcinogenic chemicals. Optimizing one’s body to be able to get rid of toxins can lower the risk of cancer and disease from environmental chemical exposure.