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

Support for 9/11 Victims and Their Families Coping with Liver Cancer

Anyone who lived, worked, or went to the school in the area in the months after the attacks may be at an increased risk of developing 9/11-related conditions, including liver cancer. With over 35,000 survivors and responders certified by the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) for various types of cancer, it's clear that ongoing support is essential for 9/11 victims and their families coping with liver cancer. This support is provided in the form of medical monitoring and treatment through the WTCHP, and financial compensation through the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). 

Liver Cancer is Common in 9/11 Victims

Liver cancer may not be a consequence that we immediately associate with the terrorist attacks, but it is a common diagnosis among people who lived, worked, or went to school in Downtown NYC after the 9/11 attacks. Exposure to 9/11 toxic dust and fumes are known cause of harmful effects on the liver, which plays a key role in detoxifying harmful substances from the body. The dust and debris from the collapsed towers contained carcinogens that, over time, have led to an increased prevalence of liver tumors in 9/11 first responders and survivors, including those who lived, worked, or went to school in lower Manhattan during the attacks or in the weeks and months following. Data has shown that individuals exposed to the toxic aftermath have faced a fourfold increase in the risk of liver damage compared to the general population.

Support is Available Through the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP)

For 9/11 responders and survivors, the WTCHP offers comprehensive health support, including no-cost medical monitoring and cutting-edge treatment options. A treatment plan will be created based on important factors such as the stage and type of cancer and the health of your liver. Surgery is an effective treatment for some liver cancer patients, but it is not suitable for all patients. Recent years have seen several advances in treatment options, including:

  • Chemotherapy: Newer medicines are helping patients live longer after chemotherapy, and often the treatment can shrink the size of the tumor so that it may be surgically removed.
  • Intra-arterial therapies: Chemoembolization beads deliver cancer-killing medication to the tumor through the artery. These beads also block blood flow to the tumor, preventing it from growing. This treatment can help shrink the size of the tumor, sometimes making the patient eligible for transplantation.
  • Ablation: This is a minimally invasive approach that targets smaller tumors by killing the tumor with hot energy.
  • Liver transplantation: This is the most effective treatment for those with a common type of liver cancer known as hepatocellular carcinoma, and is also a great option for patients with cirrhosis. Typically, only patients with a few small tumors are eligible for a transplant, but recent research has shown that those who shrink their tumors first with other treatments may become eligible for transplantation.
  • Radiation therapy: This therapy targets liver tumors with high-energy rays while minimizing side effects. Newer radiation techniques, such as stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), target liver tumors while reducing the radiation to nearby healthy tissues. 
  • Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy uses medicines that help a person’s own immune system find and destroy cancer cells. There are currently six immunotherapy drugs approved by the Federal Drug Association (FDA). Recently, scientists have identified a combination of drugs that significantly improve survival for people with hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer. 

Get Your 9/11 Illness Certified by the WTCHP

In order to receive treatment from the WTCHP or a major medical center in that program — including hospitals such as Memorial Sloan Kettering – you must first get your illness certified. Enrollment in the WTC Health Program and certification of the 9/11-related illness are different processes. Whether you are currently in good health or you are suffering from 9/11-related health conditions, the WTC Health Program recommends that 9/11 survivors and responders enroll in the program immediately. 

Your condition can be certified by the WTCHP if it meets the following requirements: it is included on the list of WTC-related health conditions; your 9/11 exposures are substantially likely to have been a significant factor in aggravating, contributing to, or causing the health condition; and your health condition and 9/11 exposures meet WTC Health Program policies and criteria for certification, such as maximum time intervals, minimum latency requirements, or any additional requirements. If your WTC Health Program doctor determines that you have a health condition that meets all of the criteria, a WTC-3 Certification Package must be completed to request certification. This involves a detailed application where individuals provide evidence of their exposure to the disaster sites and document their health condition. 

Given the specificity and complexity of these requirements, the role of a seasoned 9/11 attorney in this process is invaluable. An attorney with experience in 9/11 claims can provide knowledgeable assistance in navigating the WTCHP’s procedures, ensuring that all necessary documentation is accurately prepared and submitted. They can assist in detailing the individual’s presence at the WTC, Pentagon, or Shanksville crash sites and in gathering comprehensive medical records that substantiate the illness claim. They can provide clarity on legal rights, offer advice on how to proceed at each step of the certification journey, and represent the applicant in any necessary hearings or appeals.

Hansen & Rosasco is Here to Support 9/11 Victims

If you or a loved one (or if you lost a loved one) are grappling with the repercussions of a 9/11-related liver cancer diagnosis, know that you are not alone. The dedicated attorneys at Hansen & Rosasco, LLP are dedicated to supporting 9/11 victims and their families. Our attorneys have represented hundreds of 9/11 cases and are well-versed in the intricacies of the WTCHP and the VCF. We are committed to helping you secure the support you need. Contact us to start the process, and let us advocate for you as you focus on your health and recovery.