Skip to content

Victim Compensation FundZadroga ActFirst Responders

Study Finds Unique Cancer Risks for 9/11 Firefighters

August 26, 2022 | Michael Barasch

A recent study in the medical journal Nature Medicine found that FDNY firefighters who worked at the World Trade Center site on and after 9/11 have an increased risk of all types of cancer, with a particularly elevated incidence of prostate, thyroid, and tonsil cancer, as well as melanoma.

For thyroid cancer, for example, the risk doubled as a result of exposure to Ground Zero toxins, which contribute to an increase in 68 different types of cancer and many respiratory illnesses. 

The research was conducted by David J. Prezant, MD, a professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and chief medical officer for FDNY, and his team.

Firefighters and other responders – in addition to people working, living, and studying in Lower Manhattan on and after 9/11 – were told by government officials that the air was safe to breathe.

But it wasn’t, and every year more and more of the 500,000 responders and survivors who were there at the time develop cancer or respiratory illness.

If you were there, consider signing up with the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

The health program provides free, comprehensive medical care to 9/11 victims for their 9/11-related illnesses. The fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

The victim fund offers tax-free awards for pain and suffering, lost earnings, and benefits for surviving spouses and family members.

If you were there, you have the right to register with the 9/11 VCF – even if currently healthy – and enroll in the WTC Health Program if you are diagnosed with the 9/11-related illness.

For the WTC Health Program, the exposure zone includes all of Manhattan below Houston Street and parts of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO in Brooklyn.

For the 9/11 VCF, the exposure zone is smaller – it includes the area of Manhattan south of Canal Street and west of Clinton Street.

Barasch & McGarry, Lawyers for the 9/11 Community, represents more than 30,000 members of the 9/11 community.

If you were exposed to Ground Zero toxins, you should know your health status. Don’t let a delayed diagnosis become a death sentence.

Visit or call 212-385-8000.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required

Leave a comment

  • Share this article

  • Newsletter

    Stay updated on breaking 9/11 news
    Subscribe Now

Home Live Chat

Photo of Michael Barasch.
Online Now

Hi, we are here to help if you have questions.