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Barasch & McGarry Remembers Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September 22, 2023 | Michael Barasch

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.

Nearly 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 severe respiratory illnesses and 69 different types of cancer as a result of their exposure to World Trade Center toxins, including ovarian cancer.

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

About one in seventy-eight women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer during their lifetime, with higher rates among 9/11 community members.

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 19,710 women in the United States will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2023.

The major risk factors for ovarian cancer are age (more common in older women), family history, obesity, hormone replacement therapy after menopause, a history of breast cancer, and exposure to harmful chemicals such as Ground Zero toxins.

Common symptoms could include bloating, pelvic or abdominal pain, trouble eating or feeling full quickly, and urgent or frequent urination.

9/11 responders and survivors with a high risk of ovarian cancer should share this information with their primary health care provider and stay alert to the symptoms.  

Remember that if you are diagnosed with 9/11-related ovarian 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 ovarian 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 for 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.

Barasch & McGarry has worked tirelessly for members of the 9/11 community for more than two decades, including NYPD Detective James Zadroga, the namesake of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and his family.

If you were in Lower Manhattan below Canal Street on 9/11 or the eight months that followed, you have the right to register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund –even if you are currently healthy. 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 by registering and enrolling today.

To register with the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and enroll in the World Trade Center Health Program, visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 35,000 9/11 responders and survivors.

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