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

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – Here's What You Need to Know about 9/11 Prostate Cancer Claims

Prostate cancer is a major health concern for men around the world, affecting millions of men globally. But did you know there's a shocking connection between the devastating terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and an increased risk of prostate cancer? September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s a good time to delve into the facts about prostate cancer and 9/11 exposure, explore symptoms of prostate cancer, and consider the treatment options and avenues for financial compensation that are available to 9/11 first responders and survivors through the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

9/11 Exposure and Prostate Cancer

The link between prostate cancer and exposure to the dust and debris created in the 9/11 attacks is well known. The horrific attacks that led to the collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) resulted in an unprecedented toxic dust cloud and fumes from fires at Ground Zero that lingered in Lower Manhattan and the “9/11 Exposure Zone” in the weeks and months following the attacks. This wasn't ordinary dust and fumes. iIt was a dangerous mixture of asbestos, alkaline cement, lead, glass fibers, pulverized building materials, and various carcinogens all mixed together with over 90,000 liters of burning jet fuel. The dangers lingered for months, with high levels of asbestos found in buildings in the Exposure Zone three months after the attacks. The 9/11 dust and fumes are proven through extensive research to have significantly contributed to the rise in prostate and other types of cancer amongst WTC responders and survivors, including Downtown Manhattan residents, workers and students

A study published in the Molecular Cancer Research journal found that inhaling 9/11 dust led to an increase in inflammatory T-cells. Researchers found significantly more inflammatory genes in those with 9/11-related prostate cancer as opposed to general prostate cancer.  This inflammation may be one of the mechanisms that lead to aggressive 9/11-related prostate cancer.

How Common is Prostate Cancer in 9/11 Victims?

The connection between 9/11 prostate cancer and exposure to World Trade Center dust is alarming. According to the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP), not only those involved in the rescue and recovery efforts but also others exposed to the WTC dust have demonstrated an increased risk of prostate cancer. One specific study published in the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine highlighted this risk, revealing an increased rate of 24%. Prostate cancer stands as the most prevalent 9/11 cancer diagnosis among male first responders and survivors.

In terms of latency period – the time between exposure to toxic WTC dust and fumes and the manifestation of symptoms – there is variability. However, a notable number of 9/11 rescue and recovery responders have developed prostate cancer within a decade following the event. This is a shorter latency period than what has been reported for men who were not involved in 9/11, underscoring the importance of screening for this uniquely aggressive prostate cancer. The World Trade Center Health Program sets a minimum latency period of four years after exposure. 

Symptoms of 9/11 Prostate Cancer

Unfortunately, there usually aren't many early warning signs for prostate cancer, so screening for prostate cancer is essential, especially for those with known exposure such as 9/11 first responders and survivors. The symptoms of 9/11-related prostate cancer are similar to those of general prostate cancer but may include intensified pain and suffering due to the aggressive nature of the disease. Symptoms include:

  • The need to urinate more frequently, this especially occurs at night, and sometimes urgently.
  • Trouble starting or holding back urination.
  • A weak or interrupted urine stream.
  • Pain or a burning sensation during urination.
  • The feeling after urination that you have not completely emptied your bladder.
  • Ongoing pain or stiffness in the lower back, hips, or pelvis.
  • The presence of blood in your urine or semen.
  • Pain with ejaculation.
  • Difficulty having an erection.
  • Pressure or pain in the rectum.

Prostate Cancer Treatment Options

Prostate cancer treatment for 9/11 victims is a specialized area of medical care. Based on the stage and aggressiveness of the cancer, treatment options include:

  • Surgery: Removal of the prostate gland.
  • Radiation Therapy: Using high-energy rays to target and destroy cancer cells.
  • Chemotherapy: Utilizing drugs to shrink or kill rapidly growing cells, including cancer cells.
  • Hormone Therapy: Lowering testosterone levels to inhibit cancer cells from growing.
  • Targeted Therapy: Targeting specific cancer cells with customized drug treatments.

    The WTC Health Program offers medical monitoring and treatment for those affected by 9/11-related prostate cancer. If you or a loved one are suffering from 9/11-related prostate cancer, registering with the WTCHP is an essential step to getting the medical care you need. 

Know Your Options as a Victim of 9/11 Prostate Cancer

If you or a loved one has developed prostate cancer related to the 9/11 dust exposure, there is help available, and it's vital to know your rights and options. The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides financial compensation to individuals who have suffered physical harm, including aggressive prostate cancer, due to the events of 9/11. This compensation may cover out-of-pocket medical expenses, lost wages and benefits, and compensation for pain and suffering.

Given the complex nature of such cases, connecting with an experienced attorney who specializes in 9/11 prostate cancer cases can be instrumental in navigating the complexities of both medical treatment and legal compensation.

A Timely Reminder

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September serves as a timely reminder to reflect on the unique challenges faced by the WTC responders and survivors who have suffered from exposure to the toxic cloud of dust and debris from the 9/11 attacks, especially the brave souls involved in the rescue and recovery efforts. Understanding the risks, symptoms, and available treatment options as well as the rights available to World Trade Center responders and survivors can make a significant difference in their journey towards healing and justice.

As we remember the events of that fateful day, we want to ensure that those affected receive the care, support, and compensation they rightfully deserve. At Hansen & Rosasco, our dedicated 9/11 attorneys understand the unique challenges that face those suffering from 9/11-related cancer, and we stand ready to help you throughout the entire process of getting the medical treatment and compensation you are entitled to. Reach out today for a free consultation to see what we can do for you.