If you were a first responder, construction worker or anyone who was in the World Trade Center area in the aftermath of the September 11 attack, firefighter Steven “Bubba” Pascale has an important message for you: Get checked. During a CT scan of his lungs, doctors identified a large tumor on his right kidney. A resident of Westerleigh, Staten Island, Pascale had not suffered any symptoms associated with the cancerous growth but taking the initiative to identify potential 9/11 illnesses very likely saved his life.
Diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer, Pascale underwent surgery to remove the affected kidney at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Since then, he’s been dedicated to making others aware of the dangers facing individuals who worked at Ground Zero or were in the area while toxins filled the air. Key points to remember include:
- You might not feel the symptoms — As cancer attacked his kidney over several years, Pascale was enjoying life as usual, spending time with his family and working at Engine 253 in Brooklyn. As a precaution, he underwent the CT scan even though no symptoms presented themselves.
- Full-body scans can identify problems other tests miss — Since 2001, Pascale had taken annual physicals that included blood tests and checks for lung problems common to many first responders. No serious problems were found. Fortunately, the CT scan of his lungs included a view of his kidneys, revealing the cancerous growth.
- Help is available, even if you seem healthy — Under the World Trade Center Health Program, participants can obtain free exams that might detect problems that aren’t otherwise detectable. For some of these conditions, early intervention can make a significant difference in the outcome.
We’re all familiar with the busy pace of life in the New York area. It can be tough to schedule a checkup, especially if you’re not feeling any pain. However, more than 18 years after the 9/11 attack, people like Steven Pascale are being diagnosed with serious medical conditions. Even if you think nothing’s wrong, it’s wise to take advantage of the free medical checks that have been authorized just for this purpose.
Barasch & McGarry advises clients on a full range of claims relating to the September 11 World Trade Center attack and its aftermath. If you or a loved one might have been affected, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online for a free initial consultation regarding your options.