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9/11 Cancer Statistics


Cancer is one of the most common health problems faced by 9/11 responders and survivors.  Tragically, the cancer toll among those who were present in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks has risen to nearly 25,000 — including more than 1,500 fatalities. If you’ve been diagnosed with a cancer linked to the toxins in the dust cloud, it’s important to be aware that you may be entitled to an award from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. 

9/11 Cancer Types in Responders and Survivors

The 9/11 dust cloud contained thousands of compounds known to be harmful. Significantly, the toxins found in the dust cloud included benzene, cement, asbestos, heavy metals, and dioxins — all chemicals linked to various forms of cancer. While the WTC Health Program screens for and treats all forms of cancer in eligible responders, the top 15 9/11 cancer types include the following as of September 2021:

  • Non-melanoma skin cancer — Certified in 5,497 responders and 1,279 survivors
  • Prostate cancer — Certified in 3,453 responders and 2,037 survivors
  • Female breast cancer — Certified in 383 responders and 1,574 survivors
  • Melanoma of skin — Certified in 1,145 responders and 426 survivors
  • Lymphoma — Certified in 681 responders and 701 survivors
  • Thyroid cancer — Certified in 626 responders and 708 survivors
  • Lung/Bronchus cancer — Certified in 556 responders and 620 survivors
  • Kidney cancer — Certified in 594 responders and 422 survivors
  • Leukemia — Certified in 489 responders and 401 survivors
  • Colon cancer — Certified in 450 responders and 365 survivors
  • Bladder cancer — Certified in 457 responders and 275 survivors
  • Myeloma cancer — Certified in 220 responders and 255 survivors
  • Oropharynx cancer — Certified in 210 responders and 166 survivors
  • Rectum cancer — Certified in 188 responders and 213 survivors
  • Neuroendocrine cancer — Certified in 154 responders and 107 survivors

Regardless of the type of cancer with which you’ve been diagnosed, it is essential to understand that the condition must be certified by the WTC Health Program in order to obtain compensation from the VCF. The maximum award amount issued by the VCF for any one type of cancer is $250,000, per the Zadroga Act. However, the Special Master may allow for an adjustment above the statutory cap in limited circumstances — such as if more than one cancer condition is diagnosed.      

9/11 Cancers in Recovery Workers

According to a study conducted by Mount Sinai, 9/11 police officers and recovery workers had a 9% higher risk of developing cancer than the general population. The research showed that those within the group studied had a 41% higher chance of developing leukemia and a 25% higher risk of prostate cancer. Critically, police officers and recovery workers also face a 219% higher chance of being diagnosed with thyroid cancer.   

Research has also revealed that 9/11 firefighters face a 13% greater risk of cancer. In fact, nearly 3,100 FDNY members have been diagnosed with at least one form of cancer related to 9/11 — more than one type of cancer has been found in hundreds more. Additionally, various cancers have also been found in Con Edison workers, electrical workers, steelworkers, and construction workers at Ground Zero — as well as those who worked along the debris route. 

Notably, recent research also shows that 9/11 responders are 35% more likely to survive their cancer diagnoses compared with the general population. Enrolling in the WTC Health Program and attending regular screening is crucial to ensure any cancer conditions are caught early while there is a better chance of successful treatment.

Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you are a 9/11 responder or survivor with a cancer condition linked to the dust cloud, it’s vital to have an experienced 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney who can ensure you receive the maximum VCF award you deserve. The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. provides skillful counsel and knowledgeable representation to responders who aided in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup efforts — as well as those who lived, worked, or went to school in the NYC Exposure Zone.
The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for more than a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.


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