NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — A 9/11 worker who underwent cancer treatment amid the coronavirus crisis is among the first patients to leave cancer free following the pandemic.
Neil Carroll, 58, worked for Verizon in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks checking cables.
“The only way to get to their labeling was to wipe the dust off with your hand and blow it off with your mouth,” he said. “Who knew this stuff was gonna kill you?”
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2014 and while he recovered from that, doctors later found a tumor attached to his pancreas.
He was in remission for a number of years until the spring, when the coronavirus pandemic struck New York City.
“After I had the scans, I learned the cancer had come back,” he said.
Surgical Oncologist Dr. Umut Sarpel at Mount Sinai Health Systems sent him for cancer treatment to save his life, despite the risk of contracting COVID-19.
“There was some risk involved but I think, overall, the risk-benefit ratio for him greatly favored getting treatment,” she says.
Carroll had surgery at Mount Sinai amid the pandemic and recently walked out of the hospital cancer-free.
Dr. Sarpel says while the coronavirus pandemic was frightening, cancer patients were being treated safely.