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Prostate Cancer in 9/11 Responders


While prostate cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men, 9/11 responders face a significantly higher risk. According to researchers, those who worked on the rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero have a 25% greater chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer than the general population. In fact, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer found in responders, with 3,025 having been certified by the World Trade Center Health Program for the disease.  

Since prostate cancer can have a long latency period, many responders continue to be diagnosed to this day. If you’re a 9/11 responder who developed this form of cancer due to inhaling the toxins in the 9/11 dust cloud, you may be entitled to compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. The VCF awards monetary recovery to eligible responders for the losses they have incurred as a result of 9/11-related prostate cancer.   

Prostate Cancer Symptoms and Treatment

9/11 responders were exposed to thousands of known carcinogens at Ground Zero and throughout the New York City Exposure Zone in the days and weeks following the September 11th terrorist attacks. Researchers have found that exposure to these chemicals triggered prostate inflammation, leading to an increased risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. The study also revealed that the carcinogens in the 9/11 dust might accelerate the development of prostate cancer in responders, causing the disease to develop over the course of years, rather than decades.  

Prostate cancer may not cause symptoms in the early stages. However, once the disease has advanced, symptoms can include:  

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Painful urination
  • Frequent urination
  • Bone pain
  • Pain in the back, hips, or pelvis
  • Hematuria
  • Weight loss

If prostate cancer is detected early, it is generally treatable. Screening can include a physical examination or a blood test called a prostate-specific antigen test. If an abnormality is detected during screening, your doctor might recommend additional testing such as an ultrasound, an MRI, or a prostate biopsy. If cancer is confirmed, your doctor will determine whether it is aggressive and likely to spread. If your doctor suspects the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, additional testing may be recommended.

VCF Compensation for Prostate Cancer

The VCF awards monetary compensation to eligible responders for the economic and non-economic losses they have suffered in connection with a diagnosis of 9/11-related prostate cancer. Importantly, in order to receive any monetary recovery from the VCF, your condition must first be certified by the WTC Health Program.

An award for economic loss is meant to provide compensation for loss of earnings and benefits, as well as out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of medical treatment. Non-economic loss is awarded to compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your 9/11-related prostate cancer. Generally, the VCF will award non-economic loss in an amount up to $250,000 for prostate cancer. Significantly, if you’ve been diagnosed with multiple cancers, the Special Master may consider whether you should be entitled to a monetary award beyond the cap.

Families who have lost loved ones to 9/11-related prostate cancer may also be entitled to compensation by filing a wrongful death claim with the VCF. By doing so, they may be eligible to recover for their economic and non-economic losses, burial or memorial expenses, and replacement services loss.

Since prostate cancer is prevalent among 9/11 responders, the VCF does not require further proof that certain treatment or medication is connected with your condition when you file an amendment for medical expense reimbursement. The VCF considers various medications and procedures related to prostate cancer treatment as presumptively compensable.

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

Being diagnosed with 9/11 prostate cancer can have a devastating impact on your life, and you may be eligible to receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. However, filing a claim with the VCF can be a confusing process — it’s best to have the guidance of a knowledgeable 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney who can help ensure you receive the VCF award you’re rightfully entitled.

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 over a decade. For a free consultation, contact us today.


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