Skip to content

Blood Cancer


  • Blood cancers account for 14 of the 69 different forms of cancer that have been linked to 9/11 by doctors at the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP).
  • Blood cancers include multiple forms of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma. Leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow, myeloma is specific to bone marrow, and lymphoma is a cancer that impacts lymph nodes, bone marrow, and other parts of the body’s lymphatic system.
  • Nearly 3,000 cases of blood cancer across its various forms have been diagnosed among WTCHP enrollees. Combined, blood cancer is the third leading cancer affecting 9/11 survivors and responders.
  • Barasch & McGarry represents thousands of survivors and responders diagnosed with cancer in their Victim Compensation Fund claims and fights for their full and fair compensation.

Multiple Blood Cancers, Carcinogens Linked to 9/11 Toxins

The collapse of the World Trade Center’s twin towers and several adjacent buildings released an unknown number of contaminants and carcinogens into the air. Materials and compounds never intended to burn were incinerated and reduced to fumes, smoke, vapors, particles, and ash. Researchers who studied the toxins released into the air on 9/11 have identified more than 70 different deadly carcinogens, many of which survivors and responders breathed in, and that lingered for eight months during clean-up and removal efforts.

As workers were encouraged to return to Lower Manhattan in the weeks and months after 9/11, most were unaware of the dangers that lingered. Those toxins have been linked to 69 different cancers among survivors and responders, including 14 different blood cancers.

Blood Cancers Increasing Over Time in 9/11 Survivors, Responders

Ongoing research and longitudinal studies have been critical in validating the links to cancer during the two decades following 9/11. More recently, there have been strong correlations to 9/11 toxins and blood cancers. A 2018 study showed that firefighters exposed to chemicals and toxic dust were twice as likely to developing multiple myeloma. And a 2019 study revealed first responders had an increased risk of leukemia by 41 percent compared to the general population. 

Forms of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma each have their unique characteristics, points of origin and symptoms, but all are classified as blood cancers due to the impact on blood and to bone marrow where blood cells originate. Lymphoma also affects the lymph nodes and can impact other organs in the body.

Notable blood cancer symptoms

Blood cancers can reveal few to no symptoms in their early stages, and can be overlooked or mistaken for other illnesses. Depending on the form of blood cancer, detection can occur through tests such as blood and urine tests, bone marrow, or biopsy. 

Some notable symptoms of blood cancers include: 

  • Fatigue (all)
  • Unexplained weight loss (all)
  • Fever, night sweats, chills (leukemia/lymphoma)
  • Swollen lymph nodes in neck, groin, or armpit regions (leukemia/lymphoma) 
  • Bone pain (leukemia/myeloma)
  • Frequent infections (leukemia/myeloma)
  • Heightened bleeding or bruising (leukemia)
  • Shortness of breath (lymphoma)
  • Nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, excessive thirst (myeloma)
  • Weakness/numbness in legs (myeloma)
  • Mental fogginess or confusion (myeloma)

Because it can take months, years, or even decades for cancer to grow, it is important for 9/11 survivors and responders to be aware that a diagnosis years later can be a result of their exposure, and they have the right to seek full and fair compensation.

I am a retired FDNY Lieutenant, who was injured on 9/11, and have subsequently developed some health problems from that terrible day. Your lawyers, case managers, and legal assistants have been there for me and my family from the very beginning.

Responder, Retired Lieutenant, FDNY

Medical & Financial Benefits for Blood Cancer Patients

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 was approved legislation that established an initial list of conditions covered by the two 9/11 benefit programs the act created. These programs are The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), which provides free nationwide medical care, and the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) which disburses monetary compensation to those with conditions the WTC Health Program certifies. To date 69 cancers including blood cancers are part of the list of conditions, some of which have been added years later when medical evidence became undeniable. 

In 2019, after dozens of trips down to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress, our firm and many other 9/11 advocates aided in the full funding and permanent extension of the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Passage of the Never Forget the Heroes Act essentially ensures funds are available to compensate all who are currently sick or get sick in the future.

Actual Client VCF Awards

View More Results

$3,700,651for a disabled NYC police officer due to leukemia

$3,254,242for wrongful death of a firefighter due to 9/11-related asthma/RADS

$2,811,150for a disabled stock broker due to multiple myeloma

$1,934,316for a disabled teacher due to esophageal cancer

$1,422,694for wrongful death of a downtown office worker due to pulmonary fibrosis

$1,251,411for wrongful death of a paralegal working in a downtown law firm due to breast cancer

$1,345,427for a NYC Police Officer with breast cancer

$1,188,741for a disabled EMT with colon cancer

$1,011,957for the wrongful death of a sound engineer due to bladder cancer

Deadline Extended to Register for Compensation

Deadlines to register VCF claims are approaching. If you or anyone you know had cancer or lost a family member as a result on 9/11, reach out to us to register for compensation quickly.

If you were exposed to the toxic air on 9/11 or in the eight months that followed but have not had your medical condition linked to 9/11, you also still have time to apply for significant compensation. The deadline to apply to the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) is two years from the date that your cancer has been certified by the WTC Health Program. The two-year period to register doesn’t start on the day of diagnosis. Rather, it starts only when a victim is made aware their condition was linked to exposure to the WTC toxins.

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

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 to ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled. Please contact us for a free consultation.

Contact Us

It’s important to act quickly. Find out if you’re eligible to receive compensation from the $10 billion set aside for 9/11 victims. Call us at 212-385-8000 or contact us online today.

Blood Cancer

Additional Topics

  • 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)

    Learn about the 9/11 VCF; permanently funded with over $10 billion to compensate anyone with 9/11-linked illnesses and 69 different cancers.

    Read More
  • World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)

    Find out about the WTCHP which provides free medical monitoring, testing, treatment, and prescription drugs for a range of 9/11-linked conditions.

    Read More
  • 9/11 VCF Results & Awards

    Barasch & McGarry has recovered more money from the Victim's Compensation Fund than any other law firm. See example awards & results.

    Read More
  • Why Barasch & McGarry

    With over 20,000 clients under representation and $3 Billion+ recovered from the Victim Compensation Fund, find out why Barasch & McGarry are truly "Lawyers for the 9/11 Community".

    Read More

Home Live Chat

Photo of Michael Barasch.
Online Now

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