A growing number of Ground Zero first responders and rescuers are seeking compensation for their illnesses, and more than 2,500 of them have contracted cancer.
That toll has climbed from the 1,140 cancer cases reported just last year, according to the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The program has counted 1,655 responders, out of the 37,000 police, sanitation workers and other city employees and volunteers it monitors, reports The New York Post. And when firefighters and EMTs are added, the total rises to 2,518.
The city's Fire Department has its own World Trade Center program, and notes there are 863 members with cancers that have been certified for 9-11 treatment.
Compensation amounts are being distributed. For example, one retired FDNY captain, at 63, received a $1.5 million award from the federal 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund during an expedited hearing in May, after contracting lung disease and inoperable pancreatic cancer while he worked at the site for a week after the attacks.
The man testified that he worries about his wife of 40 years, and hopes more cases are rushed because sufferers are not expected to last long.
The latest findings are more than twice the number of reported cancer cases up to September of last year, when epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said some 1,140 people suffered from WTC-related cancers.