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Ground Zero and Cancer: The Surprising Side

As the years have gone by since the 9/11 disaster, studies have repeatedly demonstrated an increased rate of many cancers among emergency responders and other survivors who had breathed the toxic dust at Ground Zero.

Except one. Somewhat surprisingly, statistics show 9/11 responders have experienced a lower rate of lung cancer than would be expected among the population. According to one study released in April 2013:

  • The incidence of thyroid cancer was 239 percent higher than what one would expect to find in a similar population.
  • The incidence of soft-tissue cancers was 226 percent higher.
  • Rates of blood and lymph cancers were 36 percent higher.
  • Rates of prostate cancer were 21 percent higher.

However, the incidence of lung cancer was actually 11 percent lower than expected.

How can that be, when those at Ground Zero were breathing so much toxic material into their lungs that they now suffer asthma at twice the rate of the general population?

Medical experts theorize that because lung cancer typically has an exceptionally long latency period — occurring on average about 20 years after exposure to toxins — it may simply be a late arrival in the 9/11 cancer rankings. Unfortunately, that means some survivors may be destined to discover that 9/11 gave them lung cancer long after the 2016 final deadline for seeking compensation for 9/11 injuries.

Similarly, another study found those exposed to Ground Zero had a lower mortality rate than the general population of New York City. Again, researchers point to the typically long latency period of the types of diseases attributable to the WTC attacks.

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Compensation available to residents and office workers, teachers and students – not just responders and volunteers
Deadline Extended To Register Claims Must file within 2 years from the date your cancer was linked to WTC toxic dust
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  • "If I could give them six stars I would...don't even bother talking to anyone else concerning 9/11. The whole team worked night and day to deliver an outstanding settlement. They are honest, hard working and extremely professional. Just make the one phone call and let them do the rest." - Les Margulis, resident in the exposure zone

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  • "The people at this firm were just great. They were concern with making sure I was taken care of in every way possible. When I was given an award Mr. Barasch didn't think it was a fair amount and appealed the decision which got me a larger award. I am very satisfied with everything they did for me in the past and are willing to do for me and my family in the future." - Bob Wiecezak, FDNY-Retired

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  • Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation


    There is still time to apply for significant compensation if you have been diagnosed with any of the 68 cancers that doctors at the WTC Health Program (WTCHP) have linked to the WTC toxic dust. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that a cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program — or any other governmental agency. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of a cancer diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a cancer survivor is made aware their cancer was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

    For those who died from their WTC-linked cancers, the two-year period for their family to register starts on the day of the death of the WTC victim.

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Please help spread the word about the strict two-year deadline to register a claim

Many people have tried to complete the VCF application on their own, only to learn that it requires answers to hundreds of questions and many documents to download. It would be our pleasure to help you complete the process in order to ensure that you receive the compensation that you are entitled to. Please call us for a free consultation.

Let a knowledgeable attorney help you figure it out

A cancer diagnosis can be terrifying. You undoubtedly have questions about your disease and how you will pay for treatment. Lawyers at Barasch & McGarry ensure you understand the complex requirements and help devise the best strategies for obtaining compensation and appropriate medical care under the Zadroga Act. Contact our law firm online or call 888-351-9421. The initial consultation is free, so it costs you nothing to find out whether a lawyer can help.
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