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Male Breast Cancer Linked to the September 11th Attacks

Many people are unaware that men can develop breast cancer. Although male breast cancer is generally rare, cases are continuing to rise among responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks who were south of Canal Street between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002. 

As a result of breathing in the carcinogens that were in the air for months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one in five who were in the Exposure Zone have developed some form of 9/11-related cancer. The WTC Health Program recognizes all forms of cancer — including male breast cancer — as certifiable conditions, allowing survivors and responders to receive treatment from the program, and to submit a claim to receive the compensation they deserve from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

9/11-Related Breast Cancer in Responders and Survivors

According to the American Cancer Society, men have a one in 833 chance of developing breast cancer in their lifetimes, compared with a one in eight chance for women. However, months of exposure to the toxic dust of 9/11 has considerably increased the risk for both male and female survivors and responders.

Female breast cancer is among the top fifteen certified cancer conditions for responders and survivors, and the third most common cancer diagnosed for female survivors. While women generally undergo periodic screenings to help detect breast cancer early, male breast cancer frequently goes unnoticed until it is in the later stages. 

It’s crucial for both females and males who were south of Canal Street at any point between September 2001 and May 2002 to monitor their health accordingly — the WTC Health Program offers 9/11 breast cancer screening and treatment for eligible survivors and responders.

The Toxic Dust Cloud at Ground Zero and in the Exposure Zone

The toxic dust cloud at Ground Zero and in the Exposure Zone contained numerous harmful chemicals and multiple known carcinogens, including:

  • Toxic heavy metals
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Concrete
  • Benzene
  • Dioxins
  • Lead
  • Asbestos 

Significantly, testing of the air and debris at Ground Zero identified polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) — toxic chemicals believed to cause breast cancer. PCBs are generally found in materials produced prior to the EPA ban in 1979, including fluorescent light ballasts, cable and thermal insulation, paints, plastics, hydraulic equipment and electrical transformers.

VCF Compensation for Male Breast Cancer

Responders and survivors who have eligible 9/11-related health conditions certified by the WTC Health Program may submit a claim for compensation with the VCF. All forms of cancers qualify for VCF eligibility and medical treatment through the WTC Health Program — including rare forms of cancer, such as male breast cancer.

Since cancers often take many years to develop, the WTC Health Program imposes minimum latency periods for each type of cancer. For solid cancers, such as breast cancer, the WTC Health Program has a four-year minimum latency period from the date of exposure.

Survivors and responders may be entitled to recover economic loss they incurred as a result of their eligible 9/11-related breast cancer, as well as monetary compensation for their pain and suffering from the VCF. Those who lost loved ones who had filed a claim for their 9/11-related illness or cancer prior to their death may also be entitled to recovery on their behalf.

Contact a New York City 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Attorney

If you were a 9/11 responder or survivor who developed breast cancer, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your illness from the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. You may also be eligible to receive medical treatment from the WTC Health Program.  

Navigating the VCF regulations can be confusing, frustrating, and complicated. A 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorney who is knowledgeable about the regulations involved can guide you through the VCF claims process and help ensure that you receive the compensation to which you are entitled from the VCF for your 9/11-related cancer or other eligible health condition. 

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund attorneys at The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. have represented claimants and their families in 9/11 VCF claims for over a decade. For a free consultation, call 1-800-2-DEARIE. 

John P. Dearie

John P. Dearie is a graduate of Regis High School, The University of Notre Dame, and St. John’s University School of Law. After working at a corporate law firm in New York City for two years following law school graduation, he joined The Dearie Law Firm in 2011.

John represents injured New Yorkers in third-party negligence litigations, as well as first responders, workers, volunteers and residents in claims to the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund.