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Barasch & McGarry Recognizes Stomach Cancer Awareness Month

November 28, 2023 | Michael Barasch

November is Stomach Cancer Awareness Month.

Anyone who worked, lived, or studied in Lower Manhattan on or after 9/11 has a higher risk of many serious respiratory illnesses and 69 different types of cancer, including stomach cancer.

Barasch & McGarry represents nearly 200 members of the 9/11 community who have been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

A report from the American Cancer Society estimates that 26,500 new cases of stomach cancer will be diagnosed in 2023 – about three-fifths of them among men.

The risk factors for stomach cancer include gender (more common in men), race (more common in Hispanic Americans, African Americans, Native Americans, and Asian/Pacific Islanders), Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) infection, being overweight or obese, a diet high in grilled or heavily-processed foods, alcohol or tobacco consumption, and exposure to toxic chemicals such as Ground Zero toxins.

9/11 first responders and survivors – as well as anyone else with a high risk of stomach cancer – should share this information with their primary health care provider and stay alert to the symptoms. 

The common symptoms of stomach cancer include unintended weight loss, loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting, heartburn, and swelling in the abdomen.

Thankfully, after years of dedicated advocacy, the federal government created the free World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

The health program provides free medical care for 9/11-related illnesses including stomach cancer, at hospitals across the United States.

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

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

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 there, you have the right to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. And, if you are diagnosed with any Ground Zero-related illness, you have the right to enroll in the free World Trade Center Health Program.

Early detection could save your life. Protect yourself and your family.

Barasch & McGarry can help you register with the 9/11 VCF. Please contact us by visiting or calling 212-385-8000.

If you prefer to register or enroll directly with the 9/11 VCF or the WTC Health Program, visit or

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