Breast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Caused by 9/11

May 9, 2017
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HomeBlogBreast Cancer and Ovarian Cancer Caused by 9/11

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers found among females who were exposed to WTC dust and 9/11 toxins. In fact, according to the World Trade Center Health Program, female invasive breast cancer is the sixth most commonly certified cancer among individuals exposed to WTC dust and 9/11 toxins, and breast carcinoma in situ (non-invasive) is the fifteenth most commonly certified. As discussed in our recent blog post, it is estimated that 500,000 people were exposed to WTC dust and 9/11 toxins on, and in the months following, September 11, 2001.

Initially breast cancer was only added to the list of World Trade Center (WTC)-Related Health Conditions in a limited capacity. Relevant exposure was restricted to nighttime sleep disruption as a result of response and cleanup activities including shift-work. This decision was based on scientific literature which established a causal connection between breast cancer and nighttime sleep disruption associated with WTC response and cleanup shift-work.

However, a subsequent study published in The Lancet Oncology by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined a causal link between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and breast cancer in humans. According to the article, a review of more than 70 epidemiological studies led to a determination that the studies provided limited evidence of increased risks for breast cancer for individuals with exposures to PCBs. WTC Health Program Administrator Dr. John Howard found that PCBs were present in WTC dust in the New York City disaster area. Effective April 17, 2013, the Program now certifies breast cancer in eligible WTC responders and survivors who were exposed to either shift-work/nighttime sleep disruption or PCBs as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Specifically, the Zadroga Act covers invasive breast ductal carcinoma (about 80% of all breast cancers), breast ductal carcinoma in situ (the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer) and male breast cancer.

In addition to breast cancer, IARC found sufficient evidence that exposure causes ovarian cancer. As a result, ovarian cancer is also covered under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. Ovarian cancer is less common among 9/11 responders and survivors, but more serious than other types of 9/11 cancers if not detected early. Early detection is key to successfully treating ovarian cancer.

Pitta & Baione LLP represents individuals who were exposed to WTC dust and 9/11 toxins in seeking 9/11 compensation under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act. It is estimated that 400,000 people have been affected by 9/11-related cancer. The top 15 cancers related to 9/11 toxins exposure are non-melanoma skin, prostate, melanoma, lymphoma, thyroid, lung/bronchus, breast, leukemia, colon, kidney, bladder, myeloma, oropharynx, rectum, and tonsil.

For more information on 9/11 related cancers such as breast and ovarian, and 9/11 Victim Compensation, please contact Pitta & Baione LLP at 844-982-2667 or

SHARE Cancer Support offers free support to women suffering from breast and ovarian cancer. SHARE can be reached at 844-ASK-SHARE.

If between September 11, 2001 and May 30, 2002 you were present:

  • At Ground Zero
  • In Lower Manhattan, south of Canal Street (working, living, etc.)
  • At the Staten Island Fresh Kills Landfill
  • In any area related to, or along, debris removal routes (piers, barges, etc.)
  • In areas where WTC-contaminated vehicles or equipment were cleaned or rehabilitated.
  • At the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of New York City or temporary morgues.

and later developed one of the following types of cancer, you may be eligible for free healthcare and compensation.

9/11 Related Cancers:

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