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WTC Responders at Increased Risk for Head and Neck Cancers

As the serious medical problems associated with 9/11 exposure mount, a new cancer risk has been identified. During a four-year period, diagnoses of head and neck cancers increased by 40 percent among World Trade Center first responders. Carcinogenic particles that were inhaled by police officers, fire fighters, military personnel and others at or near Ground Zero might have amplified other risk factors linked to these conditions.

A study conducted by Rutgers University and funded by the Centers for Disease Control was prompted by clinicians at the school’s World Trade Center Health Program. It noted a high number of patients afflicted with head and neck cancers. Whether they have sought treatment or not, rescue, recovery and cleanup workers should be aware of:

  • Types of cancer — The study addresses cancer of the oropharynx (the part of the throat at the back of one’s mouth) and the larynx (the area of the throat used for speaking, breathing and eating). These conditions were most associated with responders over age 55 who worked in military or protective service occupations on the pile or in the perimeter of Ground Zero.
  • Latency periods — These cancers have long latency periods, so WTC-exposed workers should stay vigilant and participate in medical monitoring programs that can identify potential problems among those in the high-risk group.
  • Other potential contributing factors — Smokers, heavy alcohol users and individuals who have contracted the oral HPV infection are more likely to develop cancer in the head or neck. First responders who fall into these categories should be especially careful.

Many different types of cancer are covered under the Zadroga Act, but qualifying for benefits can be complicated. An attorney who is seasoned in World Trade Center claims can guide clients through the process and identify links between one’s illness and their work at Ground Zero.

The lawyers of Barasch & McGarry have earned a reputation as trailblazers who have won exceptional results for 9/11 first responders and their families. If you seek counsel regarding a cancer claim or any other legal action pertaining to World Trade Center exposure, please call 888-351-9421 or contact us online for a free consultation.

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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

  • "Excellent law firm. Lee London and his staff were very responsive and always followed up with phone calls or emails. This firm is a strong example of what caring and personable lawyers are all about." - Letitia Egan, wife of client, volunteer in the exposure zone

  • 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.

    Register For Compensation

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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