People who contracted skin cancer due to exposure to the toxic atmosphere around Ground Zero after 9/11 — such as firefighters, police officers, downtown residents, workers, students, teachers and many others — can receive lifetime health care from the World Trade Center Health Program for both non-melanoma and melanoma types of cancer. The WTCHP covers 100 percent of members’ costs for any dermatological surgery and reconstructive surgery required to treat either type of skin cancer.
A study recently published in JNCI Cancer Spectrum showed that 9/11 responders have significantly higher elevations of cancer incidence compared to the general population. Among the study’s 28,729 participants, the median time spent working on the rescue and recovery effort was 52 days, which means 52 days of steady exposure of their skin to carcinogens.
Skin cancer tops the World Trade Center Health Program’s list of 15 most commonly certified cancers afflicting 9/11 responders and survivors. According to the most recent data, more than 6,000 current WTCHP members are living with non-melanoma skin cancer or melanoma skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers such as basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma make up approximately 80 percent of the cases, while the less common but more serious melanoma cancers make up the remainder.
The WTCHP will only cover cancer treatments if the program’s administrator has certified that your cancer is related to exposure to toxins as a result of 9/11. Therefore, enrolling in the WTC Health program and getting your illness certified is crucial. We encourage enrollment by anyone who was present in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 or who spent time there in the following months. It can take a significant amount of time to complete enrollment and you don’t want to wait until you are very sick to start the process.
The professionals at Barasch & McGarry are here to help 9/11 responders and survivors obtain treatment for skin cancer and all other 9/11-related conditions. We consider it a privilege to help those who so selflessly helped others on that day. To speak with one of our New York lawyers and find out how we can assist you, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.