30 men exposed to the air around Ground Zero after 9/11 have reported being diagnosed with breast cancer. Men only account for one percent of all breast cancer cases in the United States every year.
70-year-old Nat Spencer who worked at the Barclays bank branch near the towers when they were hit first noticed symptoms back in 2006. His doctor suggested a mammogram and biopsy after he started feeling a terrible itching near his right nipple. The tests revealed that he had a tumor.
Soon after that, his right breast was removed, and he started chemotherapy and radiation treatment.
“I was saying to myself, ‘This can’t be right. How the heck did I get this? Men don’t get breast cancer,’” Spencer said in an interview with the NY Post. “My family did not have a history of cancer. I didn’t tie it to 9/11 at the time.”
Over time, Spencer began to blame the air surrounding The Pile for his cancer that he was breathing in for months – and the growing number of men affected by breast cancer back him up.
“It was a red flag. How the heck did I get breast cancer? Well, we were breathing terrible carcinogens. It was the poisons in the air. You could see the carcinogens coming out of the earth in different colors. The smell, the odor was terrible for the first 90 to 180 days,” he said. “I thought I was the only one. I was very surprised to hear there were others. There is a reason. Men just don’t get breast cancer in these numbers. The stimulant was 9/11.”
Hundreds of women who breathed in the air surrounding The Pile are also reporting an increased number of cases of breast cancer. In the United States, an estimated one in eight women will deal with breast cancer in their lives. However, the death rate among women in lower than men due to a lack of testing for the latter.