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Barasch & McGarry Recognizes Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

September 9, 2023 | Michael Barasch

September is Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month.

There were nearly half a million first responders and survivors working, living, and studying in Lower Manhattan on and after 9/11 who have a higher risk of developing respiratory illness and 69 different types of cancer linked to the Ground Zero toxins, including thyroid cancer.

Barasch & McGarry represents nearly 1,200 9/11 community members who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 43,720 Americans will be diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2023 – almost three-fourths of them women.

The risk factors for thyroid cancer include gender (more common in women), age (women in their forties and fifties, men in their sixties and seventies), family history, high body mass, and exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals such as Ground Zero toxins.

People with a high risk of thyroid cancer should share this information with their primary health care provider and stay alert to the symptoms.

Common symptoms include a lump in the neck, swelling in the neck, pain in the front of the neck, hoarseness or other voice changes that persist, trouble swallowing, trouble breathing, and a constant cough.

Remember that if you are diagnosed with 9/11-related thyroid cancer, 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 thyroid cancer 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.

Protect yourself and your family. An early diagnosis could save your life.

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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