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Barasch & McGarry Recognizes Sarcoma Awareness Month

July 12, 2023 | Michael Barasch

July is Sarcoma Awareness Month.

The half a million first responders and people working, living, and studying in Lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 have a dramatically higher risk of developing respiratory illnesses and 69 different types of cancer, including sarcoma.

Barasch & McGarry represents more than 100 members of the 9/11 community who have been diagnosed with sarcoma.

Sarcoma Awareness Month informs the public about this relatively rare illness, described by the Sarcoma Foundation of Americas as the “forgotten cancer.”

According to the American Cancer Society, about 13,400 new soft tissue sarcomas will be diagnosed in 2023, an estimated 7,400 in men and 6,000 in women.

The major risk factors for soft tissue sarcoma are radiation used to treat other cancers, family cancer syndromes such as neurofibromatosis and Gardner syndrome, a damaged lymph system, and exposure to chemicals such as Ground Zero toxins.

Early detection of sarcoma could substantially improve the likelihood of survival.

People with a high risk of sarcoma – based on family history, radiation during a medical procedure, or toxic exposure – should share this information with their primary health care provider and stay alert to the symptoms.

Common symptoms include finding a new or growing lump or growth on your body, abdominal pain that does not improve, and blood in stool or vomit.

Remember that if you are diagnosed with 9/11-related sarcoma, your family medical history and pre-existing conditions will not affect your eligibility for free health care or compensation. 

If you were there in Lower Manhattan, the government presumes your cancer was the result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins.

If you are diagnosed with sarcoma or any other 9/11-related cancers or respiratory illnesses, Barasch & McGarry can help you access resources through the free World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

The health program provides comprehensive medical care to 9/11 victims for their 9/11-related illnesses.

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone consists of all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

If you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, you should know your health status. Don’t let a delayed diagnosis become a death sentence.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 35,000 members of the 9/11 community.

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.


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