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Study Finds 9/11 Responders Have Higher Risk of Blood Cancer-Associated Mutations

March 17, 2022 | Michael Barasch

A recent study found that first responders who were deployed at the World Trade Center site on and after 9/11 have a higher rate of developing “clonal hematopoiesis” – blood cell mutations that increase the risk of blood cancer.
These mutations often occur as a result of exposure to toxins, for example from smoking tobacco, or presence near Ground Zero, according to the study, which was published in Nature Medicine.

Several blood cancers have been found in the 9/11 community, including multiple myeloma, lymphoma, and leukemia.

Barasch & McGarry represents dozens of 9/11 first responders and survivors with blood cancer.

Symptoms of blood cancer could include:

  • coughing or chest pain;
  • fever or chills;
  • frequent infections;
  • itchy skin or rash;
  • loss of appetite or nausea;
  • night sweats;
  • persistent weakness and fatigue;
  • shortness of breath; and
  • swollen, painless lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin.

The study’s authors recommend enhanced screening and preventative efforts for anyone exposed to Ground Zero toxins.

Protect yourself by visiting a primary care provider regularly and reporting any problems that could indicate blood cancer.

Accessing treatment through the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program – which might include chemotherapy, radiation, medication, and bone marrow transplant – could dramatically improve your quality of health if started early.

If you were there, register with the WTC Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund – even if you are currently healthy.

If you are diagnosed with blood cancer or any of the other cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, please contact us to access health care and compensation. 

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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