• 9/11 Victim Programs
  • Victim Compensation Fund (VCF)
  • WTC Health Program (WTCHP)
  • Wrongful Death VCF Claims

Thyroid Cancer

9/11 Thyroid Cancer Compensation Claims

Thyroid cancer is the sixth (6th) most common 9/11 related cancer according to statistics from the World Trade Center Health Program. As of 2022, there are over 1600 first responders and survivors (downtown workers, residents, students, etc.) who have been certified with thyroid cancer through the WTC Health Program. All of them will be entitled to a tax-free monetary award from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund and lifetime medical care.

The good news is that most thyroid cancers are curable (a word not often used in the overall cancer community). Eighty percent (80%) of all thyroid cancers are of the papillary type. Localized papillary thyroid cancer has a survival rate of almost 100% over 5 years. Even when the cancer spreads or metastasizes, the 5-year survival rate is almost 80%. These are very good odds compared to many other 9/11-related cancers.

The terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001 are still claiming victims to this day in the form of thyroid cancer, among other illnesses. 9/11 thyroid cancer cases are common among first responders, survivors, and individuals who worked or were residents of Downtown Manhattan on September 11th or at any time during the many months that followed the terrorist attacks.

The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) was established as part of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2011 (now the “Never Forget the Heroes Act”) and provides assistance to those whose health was impacted or those who died as the result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This program provides top-notch medical care to 9/11 victims and survivors from around the country at some of the best hospitals and medical centers. 

The WTC Health Program lawyers at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP have represented thousands of 9/11 cancer victims and survivors before the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) and have helped secure free lifetime health care and pharmacy benefits for our clients. Our 9/11 lawyers won a $1.15 million VCF award for a volunteer firefighter and truck driver who was disabled by thyroid cancer and consequential medical problems.


Our WTC lawyers won a $1.15 million VCF award for a volunteer firefighter and truck driver who was disabled by thyroid cancer, prostate cancer, urinary incontinence, impotence, extrinsic asthma, and secondary diabetes.


Common Causes and Symptoms of Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid cancer starts in the thyroid gland, which is near the “Adam’s apple” in the neck. The thyroid gland produces hormones that travel through the blood to all parts of the body and regulate heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and weight. Thyroid hormones also affect one’s metabolism rate, which determines how fast or slow the brain, heart, muscles, liver, and other parts of the body work.

Thyroid cancer is caused by a mutation in the cells of the thyroid gland, which is located in the neck. The exact cause of this mutation is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by exposure to radiation, certain chemicals, and other environmental factors, and the CDC has determined it can be “certified” as a 9/11 related covered condition. Common symptoms of thyroid cancer include a lump or swelling in the neck, difficulty breathing or swallowing, persistent hoarseness or other voice changes, a constant cough that is not caused by a cold, and recurrent pain in the neck or throat.

The main types of thyroid cancer are:

  • Differentiated: The most common type of thyroid cancer; includes papillary, follicular, and Hṻrthle cell.
  • Medullary: Accounts for 1%– 2% of thyroid cancers in the United States; originates from the parafollicular C cells (also called “C cells”) of the thyroid gland.
  • Anaplastic: An aggressive undifferentiated tumor, accounting for about 2% of thyroid cancers in the United States. All stages of this type are considered stage IV due to its ability to spread rapidly.

The Link Between 9/11 and Thyroid Cancer

The toxins released during the collapse of the World Trade Center towers, including polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, and asbestos, are known to increase the risk of cancer and may have played a role in the development of cancer in those exposed to the hazardous materials. The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) has recognized the link between 9/11 exposure and thyroid cancer, and victims of the attacks who have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer may be eligible for compensation and no-cost medical monitoring and treatment.

How to Know if You Qualify For Thyroid Cancer Compensation From 9/11 Exposure

If you were exposed to the toxins released on or after the 9/11 attacks, you may be eligible for compensation through the World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program). To qualify, you must have a valid 9/11 related illness and have been present in the affected areas of Lower Manhattan, Staten Island, or the Pentagon, or have worked in the area on 9/11 or for the months thereafter. If you meet these criteria, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs related to your illness.

Our 9/11 attorneys can help you register with the VCF; file a claim and provide evidence of your diagnosis and medical records; and proof of your presence at the attack sites or exposure to the dust, debris, or smoke from the attacks. If approved, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with your illness.

Map of exposure zone for 9/11 survivors with Thyroid Cancer

Thyroid Cancer Treatment Options Through the WTC Health Program

The World Trade Center Health Program provides free healthcare at top medical centers for those who were exposed to the toxins released on and after 9/11. Thyroid cancer treatment may consist of a variety of treatments including surgery, radioactive iodine treatment, thyroid hormone therapy, external beam radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or targeted therapy (including Kinase inhibitors and anti-angiogenesis drugs). Based on the type and stage of thyroid cancer, it’s important to speak with your healthcare professional to know which treatment is recommended. The American Cancer Society has broken down these types and stages of thyroid cancer and the associated treatment plan. Additionally, there are clinical trials of newer treatments available as an option.

Speak With a 9/11 Attorney to See if You're Eligible For Compensation and Free Lifetime Healthcare

If you or a loved one were exposed to the toxins released on 9/11 or the months thereafter, you may be eligible for substantial compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. It’s important to speak with an experienced 9/11 attorney as soon as possible to understand your rights and eligibility and to fight for the compensation you are entitled to. Additionally, there are a number of support resources available to those living with thyroid cancer, so never hesitate to reach out for help.

If you are suffering from a 9/11 thyroid cancer diagnosis or another related cancer or condition and have questions about lifetime medical care or receiving a VCF award, please contact our 9/11 WTC lawyers at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP.  We have been representing 9/11 victims and families for over 21 years. We can answer all of your 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund questions. Please call us at 212-697-3701 or fill out a contact form for a FREE claim evaluation

My husband died as a result of cancer. This firm was able to help me obtain the compensation I deserve for me and my two minor children. I had no idea we were entitled to that high of a compensation and this firm really worked hard for us! We will always be thankful.” -Gina E.

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Support Resources for Thyroid Cancer Patients

Our 9/11 lawyers know just how important it is for each first responder or survivor (Downtown Manhattan residents, workers, or students) to get support every step of the way – from filing a claim to receiving free healthcare and a VCF payment.

In addition to the medical services provided by the World Trade Center Health Program, there are a number of support resources available to those living with thyroid cancer. Organizations such as the Thyroid Cancer Survivors’ Association and the National Cancer Institute offer support, resources, and information to those affected by the disease.

Read a story of hope from a thyroid cancer survivor here.
Learn more about thyroid cancer from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center here.