Thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors continue to suffer the adverse health effects of breathing in the toxic air in lower Manhattan in the weeks and months after the terrorist attacks. Many FDNY, NYPD, other recovery workers, and residents who lived south of Canal Street are battling cancers linked to the chemicals found in the dust cloud — and sadly, the deaths associated with 9/11 cancer conditions continue to rise.
Although some cancers are more prevalent in 9/11 responders and survivors than others, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund recognizes all cancers as eligible for a monetary award. If you were at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002, the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help you secure the compensation you deserve for your 9/11 cancer claim.
Studies have shown that 9/11 responders are diagnosed with thyroid cancer three times more than the general population. It’s also one of the top fifteen cancers certified by the WTC Health Program for responders and survivors. 9/11 thyroid cancer may present with symptoms such as a lump or swelling in the neck, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, and a constant cough. In many cases, thyroid cancer is asymptomatic, which is why regular screening for early detection in 9/11 responders and survivors is critical.
Urinary Tract Cancers
One of the toxins found in the 9/11 dust cloud was arsenic — a chemical that has been linked to bladder cancer and kidney cancer. Both bladder and kidney cancers are some of the most commonly diagnosed in responders and survivors. Since cancers related to the urinary system often have long latency periods, these conditions are continuing to emerge in those who were present in the NYC Exposure Zone in the immediate aftermath of the terrorist attacks.
Head and Neck Cancers
Research shows that responders and survivors are at heightened risk of 9/11-related head and neck cancers due to exposure to the carcinogens in the dust and debris. Specifically, cancer of the oropharynx is among the top fifteen cancers found in responders and survivors. Other factors, such as smoking or heavy alcohol use, can further increase the chances of developing these forms of cancer.
Digestive System Cancers
Cancers of the colon and rectum are two of the most frequent cancer conditions diagnosed in those who worked on the recovery efforts at Ground Zero and along the debris routes. They are also two of the most commonly found 9/11 cancers in residents who lived in downtown Manhattan. Additionally, other digestive system cancers are recognized by the VCF as being linked to the dust cloud, including cancer of the esophagus, stomach, and liver.
Rare Cancers Linked to the 9/11 Dust Cloud
In addition to the more commonly diagnosed forms of cancer, rare cancers such as cancer of the eye, heart, brain, gallbladder, and pancreas have been linked to exposure to the harmful contaminants in the 9/11 dust cloud and the carcinogens in the debris at Ground Zero. While these cancers and others such as adrenal cancer, ovarian cancer, mesothelioma, and neuroendocrine cancer are considered to be uncommon in the general population, 9/11 responders and survivors are at a substantially increased risk.
WTC Health Program Monitoring and Cancer Screening
The WTC Health Program is a separate entity from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund that provides health monitoring and cancer screening for responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Those who are eligible to participate may also obtain free medical care and treatment if they are diagnosed with a 9/11-related cancer. Additionally, in order to be compensated by the VCF for any 9/11 health condition, it must first be certified by the WTC Health Program.
VCF Compensation for 9/11 Cancer Claim
Responders and survivors who have developed cancer linked to the 9/11 terrorist attacks may be entitled to compensation for economic and non-economic loss from the VCF.
Economic loss for 9/11 cancer claims may be awarded for loss of earnings and employment benefits in connection with your cancer diagnosis, as well as for out-of-pocket medical expenses and replacement services loss in some instances.
The VCF awards non-economic loss for the pain and suffering experienced by a responder or survivor who developed a 9/11-related cancer. Monetary awards for 9/11 cancer claims are generally capped at $250,000, but the Special Master may make an exception if there are multiple cancer diagnoses — or if a presumptively severe condition is diagnosed in addition to a cancer.
Families who have lost loved ones to a 9/11 cancer may be entitled to obtain compensation for their economic loss and non-economic loss. If the victim passed away as a direct result of their 9/11-related cancer, the family may also be eligible to receive an additional $250,000 for the decedent, and $100,000 on account of the spouse and each dependent.
Contact a VCF Attorney Who Can Help Secure Your 9/11 Cancer Compensation
If you’re an eligible responder or survivor who was diagnosed with any form of 9/11-related cancer, you may be entitled to receive an award from the VCF and medical care from the WTC Health Program. Since the VCF regulations can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated, it’s best to have an attorney on your side who can help ensure you receive the maximum compensation you’re entitled for your economic and non-economic losses. The attorneys at Dearie Law Firm, P.C. work with those in the 9/11 community to help them through every step in the process of filing 9/11 cancer claims. Contact us for a consultation.