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Breast Cancer


  • Breast cancer, which predominately affects women, is one of 69 different cancers linked to 9/11 by doctors at the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP). 
  • Breast cancer has been diagnosed in nearly 2,200 women enrolled in the WTCHP enrollees, making it a top-five diagnosed cancer affecting 9/11 survivors and responders. 
  • Despite its predominance in women, a surprising number of men also have been diagnosed with breast cancer who survived or responded to the tragic events of 9/11. 
  • 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.

Breast Cancer Linked to WTC Toxins on 9/11

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 breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Levels High Among Female, Male Survivors and Responders

Breast cancer affects more than women. While women have a 1-in-8 chance of getting breast cancer their lifetime, men only have a 1-in-833 chance. Yet breast cancer has proven to be indiscriminate – striking both women and men exposed to the toxic dust in Lower Manhattan. By 2018, Barasch & McGarry represented more than 20 of these “forgotten men” stigmatized by having breast cancer who either survived or responded to tragic events of 9/11. Further, the number of survivor cases among those enrolled in the WTCHP outpaces responders by 4-to-1, making it the only cancer with a significant tilt toward survivors and signals that all survivors, regardless of gender, should take notice. To date, nearly 2,200 female breast cancer cases have been confirmed among WTC Health Program enrollees. 

Symptoms of breast cancer

Breast cancer primarily forms in glands, ducts, and fatty tissue of this organ. Self-exams are common practice among women, but not for men. For all survivors and responders, knowing the symptoms and what to look for is essential to detecting breast cancer early. Symptoms can include:  

  • Appearance of a lump or mass
  • Irregular swelling of the breast
  • Pain in the nipple or breast
  • Changes to the skin – dimpling, red in color, dryness, skin flaking, or thickened skin 
  • Swollen or irritated lymph nodes under the arm or near collar bone
  • Inward turning nipple
  • Discharge from nipple

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 want to thank everyone at your firm for working with me to collect all my medical information and then to process it all the way to the end. I was always treated with respect and dignity, and I always enjoyed working with each and every one of your terrific employees.


Medical & Financial Benefits for Breast 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 breast cancer 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.

Breast 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

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