Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, numerous carcinogens filled the air in Manhattan south of Canal Street, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — toxins that are believed to be linked to breast cancer. Due to the presence of these chemicals in the NYC Exposure Zone, 9/11 breast cancer is among the top fifteen cancer conditions certified by the WTC Health Program for female responders and survivors. Although the condition is generally rare in men, there has also been a rise in cases reported in male responders.
Breast cancer in both men and women can take years — or sometimes decades — to develop and those who were at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone continue to be diagnosed with the condition to this day. If you’re an eligible responder or survivor who suffers from 9/11 breast cancer, The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. can help ensure you are fairly and adequately compensated by the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund for the economic and non-economic tolls your 9/11-related cancer condition has taken on your life.
9/11 Breast Cancer Symptoms
Statistically, men have a one in 833 chance of developing breast cancer, and 12% of women will be diagnosed during their lifetimes. However, those who lived in lower Manhattan in the weeks and months after September 11, 2001 — and responders who assisted with the rescue and recovery efforts — have an increased risk for certain cancers, including breast cancer.
9/11 breast cancer symptoms can vary, based on the stage of the illness. In both men and women, common symptoms may include:
• Swelling or pain
• Lumps in the breast or underarm
• Skin dimpling
• Swollen lymph nodes
• Redness, scaliness, or thickness
Since it can take years for a tumor to develop, the WTC Health Program has a four-year latency period from the date of exposure for 9/11 breast cancer. While women often undergo breast cancer screening as part of regular physicals, the condition unfortunately often goes unnoticed in men until it has reached the later stages. This is why it’s vital for both male and female responders and survivors monitor their health accordingly.
VCF Compensation for 9/11 Breast Cancer Claims
If you were at Ground Zero or in the NYC Exposure Zone between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 and developed 9/11 breast cancer, you may be entitled to compensation from the VCF — as well as health monitoring and treatment from the WTC Health Program. Importantly, before you can submit a claim for compensation for your economic and non-economic damages to the VCF, you must first have your 9/11 breast cancer certified by the WTC Health Program.
The VCF awards economic loss for 9/11 breast cancer for time lost from work, loss of earnings, employment benefits, and out-of-pocket medical expenses. The VCF will also award non-economic damages up to $250,000 for the pain and suffering you experienced due to your 9/11 breast cancer.
If you’re the spouse or dependent of a 9/11 responder or survivor who passed away as a result of their cancer, you may be entitled to an additional compensation in a wrongful death claim. The VCF awards $250,000 for the decedent and $100,000 for the spouse and each dependent. Families who have lost loved ones may also be entitled to compensation for economic loss for burial and memorial expenses, lost earnings, and replacement services loss.
Contact a VCF Attorney Who Can Help You Obtain the Compensation You Deserve
If you’re an eligible responder or survivor who developed 9/11 breast cancer, you may be entitled to receive compensation from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and medical monitoring and treatment from the WTC Health Program. However, navigating the complexities of the VCF regulations can be frustrating and it’s best to have an experienced attorney on your side to ensure you maximize your award. The attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have been providing trusted counsel and effective representation to 9/11 responders, survivors, and their families for over a decade to help them obtain the compensation to which they’re entitled. Contact us for a consultation.