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uterine cancer claim

Overview of 9/11 Uterine Cancer Claims

By Dan Hansen

The WTC Health Program and the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund are close to adding uterine cancer (including endometrial cancer) as a 9/11 presumed condition.

If you were present in the WTC area any time on 9/11 or though mid-2002, the law will presume that 9/11 caused uterine cancer and cover you for lifetime healthcare and a financial award.

Compensation for Post 9/11 Cancer Victims

As the years went by, those within the local medical community found a connection between permanent/chronic health problems, such as various types of cancers, and the toxic dust exposure from 9/11.

Thanks to legislation, these health problems are covered by federal 9/11 benefits programs, including the World Trade Center Health Program (WTC Health Program) and the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

How Are New Medical Conditions Added to the WTC Health Program’s List?

The James Zadroga Act details how new conditions get added to the WTC Health Program’s list of covered conditions.

In general:

  • An interested party sends a petition to add a specific condition to the list to the program administrator
  • The program administrator orders a STAC review of the condition
  • The WCTHP publishes a rule regarding the condition

Uterine Cancer Now a VCF Covered Condition

The list of covered health problems continues to grow as the links between toxic dust and health conditions improve. Up until now, uterine cancer was not on the list. Even though the list previously included other types of female cancers and male-specific cancers, uterine cancer hadn’t made the list. Hansen & Rosasco, LLP has strongly supported that uterine cancer be added as covered VCF health condition.

Many individuals, including members of Congress, have fought an uphill battle to get uterine cancer on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of covered conditions.

The previous determination to exclude uterine cancer was based in part on a small study group of women responders with exposure to the World Trade Center’s toxic dust even though thousands of women who also lived and worked in Lower Manhattan at the time were also exposed to the toxins.

Approximately 47 percent of the survivors participating in the WTC Health Program are female.

Uterine cancer approval isn’t the first battle that had to be fought for female cancers either. In fact, the WTC Health Program took more than one year to add ovarian cancer to the list of eligible conditions, and breast cancer took almost two years.

Not many 9/11 law firms in the United States are dedicated to exclusively serving the 9/11 responder and survivor community in the ongoing aftermath of September 11. Still, we pride ourselves on offering such assistance.

Now that uterine cancer is expected to be covered by the VCF, our experienced attorneys can move forward with helping you file a claim. Whether you’ve never contacted us before or you have a claim that was waiting for the inclusion of uterine cancer, now is the time to reach out to our compassionate team.

What is Uterine Cancer?

Generally speaking, cancer happens when altered cells grow and divide, sometimes spreading to nearby body parts or other areas of the body.

It includes:

  • Endometrial cancer: Abnormal cell development in the layer of tissue lining the uterus. The good news is that it’s often curable, especially with an early diagnosis.
  • Uterine sarcoma: Abnormal cell growth within muscles of the uterus or other supportive structures. This category is rarer and more aggressive than endometrial cancer.

Always consult your physician for questions or concerns about uterine cancer or potential symptoms. If you received a diagnosis of either type of uterine cancer and were living or working in Lower Manhattan on or within the months following 9/11 or were a first responder in the area around then, you can have a valid compensation claim. The best way to find out is to contact our firm and speak with one of our seasoned attorneys who can help you.

Risk Factors for Uterine Cancer

Anything that increases the chances of developing cancer is a risk factor. While risk factors frequently influence cancer development, most don’t directly cause cancer. Keep in mind that some individuals with multiple risk factors will never develop cancer, and others with no known risk factors will. Understanding your risk factors and discussing them with your doctor might help you minimize your cancer risk.

If you lived, worked, or were a student in the area of the WTC on September 11, 2001, or within several months of this date, or you were a first responder in the area during that time, you have an additional risk factor. The toxins found in the dust plume from the collapse of the WTC were, beyond question, definitively linked to many cancers, including uterine cancer.

Even if you have additional risk factors, you can qualify for compensation through VCF if:

  • This risk factor applies to you
  • You are diagnosed with uterine cancer
  • You were in the WTC area within the specified timeframe

Risk factors that may raise the risk of a uterine cancer diagnosis include:

  • Age: Uterine cancer usually occurs after age 50, and the average age of diagnosis is 60. It’s not common in women younger than 45.
  • Obesity: Excess fatty tissue produces additional unnecessary estrogen, a hormone that can increase the risk of uterine cancer. This risk increases with body mass index (BMI) increases.
  • Race: White women are more likely to be diagnosed with uterine cancer than women of other races/ethnicities. Even still, black women have a greater chance of being diagnosed with advanced uterine cancer. In addition, Hispanic and black women also have a higher risk of developing highly aggressive tumors.
  • Genetics: Uterine cancer may run in families if colon cancer is hereditary.
  • Type 2 diabetes as linked to obesity
  • Other cancers: Women who have had breast cancer, colon cancer, or ovarian cancer might have an increased risk of uterine cancer.
  • Previous radiation therapy: Especially to the lower part of the abdomen between the hip bones can increase the risk of uterine cancer.
  • Diet/nutrition: Those who consume foods high in animal fat may have an increased risk of uterine cancer.
  • Estrogen: Prolonged exposure to estrogen or an imbalance of estrogen.

Despite any risk factors or preexisting conditions, you can still qualify for the VCF and WTCHP if you can prove your presence in the exposure zone during the covered time. Call a 9/11 compensation lawyer to start that process today.

Signs and Symptoms of Uterine Cancer

Individuals with uterine cancer may experience various symptoms or signs. Although, sometimes they don’t have any.

The most common symptoms of uterine cancer include:

  • Unusual vaginal spotting, bleeding, or discharge
  • Abnormally heavy or prolonged menstrual bleeding and/or abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB)
  • Lower abdominal/pelvic pain or cramping
  • Thin white or clear vaginal discharge in postmenopausal women
  • Abnormal results from a Pap test

Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of endometrial cancer. Bleeding can range from watery and blood-streaked to what appears as just blood. Vaginal bleeding during or after menopause is frequently a sign of a problem as well.

It’s essential to discuss any symptoms you have with your physician right away, as the sooner a cancer diagnosis is made, the better the outcome. Your doctor will advise you about what to do next. Most likely, they will perform an exam and possibly order a blood test or imaging studies to determine the reason for your symptoms. These symptoms don’t always indicate uterine cancer and can be something else.

How Is Uterine Cancer Treated?

Uterine cancer treatment is typically determined by the stage of diagnosis, the specific type of cancer, and the personal choices and desires of the patient. For example, someone who wants to keep their fertility might choose a different treatment option than someone who doesn’t care about their fertility status.

Endometrial Cancer Treatments

Surgery to remove the cancerous endometrium is usually the first line of treatment for endometrial cancer. Sometimes that’s all a patient needs, along with careful monitoring. Other times they may need radiation therapy in addition to surgery. In some patients, surgery to remove the entire uterus might be the best option. More aggressive cancers may require chemotherapy, lymph node removal, or surgical removal of the uterus and the fallopian tubes and ovaries.

Uterine Sarcoma Cancer Treatments

Treatment for uterine sarcoma is similar to that of endometrial cancers.

It includes:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy (either internal or external)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Hormone therapy

Uterine Cancer Linked to 9/11 Toxic Dust Exposure

In September of 2020, a group of scientists and doctors at Rutgers Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute (which is also a Center of Excellence affiliated with the WTC Health Program) petitioned to include uterine cancer on the program’s list of covered conditions.

This group pointed out that endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) probably contribute to endometrial (the uterus lining) cancers. For example, the EDCs in the dust plume included polychlorinated dibenzo paradoxins and polychlorinated dibenzofurans.

Other reproductive cancers were covered conditions before uterine cancer, including:

  • Ovarian cancer
  • Placental cancer
  • Vulva cancer
  • Vaginal cancer
  • Cervical cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Penile cancer

A letter from several U.S. Representatives, including Rep. Mike Sherrill (N.J.), to the WTC Health Program administrator, highlighted that since 9/11 toxic exposure caused male and female reproductive system cancers, it most likely led to uterine cancer, too.

The 9/11 benefits attorneys at Hansen & Rosasco reviewed the same data concerning the link between 9/11 toxic exposure and uterine cancer and have always wholeheartedly supported uterine cancer’s inclusion on the list of conditions eligible for certification through the WTC Health Program.

Uterine Cancer’s Journey to Approval

In November 2021, the Scientific Technical Advisory Committee (WTC STAC) (a group of individuals tasked with assessing new medical and scientific evidence to see if a health condition should be approved) examined the information given to them by the Rutgers team.

They found a “reasonable basis for adding uterine cancer to the list of 9/11-related health conditions” because:

  • Multiple exposures and mixtures potentially act synergistically and yield unexpected, adverse health effects.
  • There are substantial data gaps regarding the range and levels of carcinogens within the dust plume.
  • The potential for heterogeneous exposures and hot spots represents high exposure areas in the nearby community.
  • The potential of bioaccumulation of some compounds.
  • A significant amount of toxic materials in the WTC area.

The STAC review brought to light an argument for including every cancer on the list of covered conditions. It then determined that the draft report revealed that the WTC Health Program currently covered all cancer types, except for only uterine cancer. The STAC collectively believes that the same genetic mutations causing colorectal, breast, and ovarian cancers can also lead to uterine cancer.

The STAC group then strongly encouraged the program administrator to include uterine cancer on the list as soon as possible. Doing so allows affected women and their families can obtain the benefits afforded to survivors with other types of cancer.

Call Our Experienced 9/11 Attorneys Today

If you have been diagnosed with uterine cancer, you may have waited a long time to find out what it’s not a VCF-approved condition. That day has finally arrived. Our experienced 9/11 uterine cancer attorneys are here for you, waiting to help you complete VCF claims so that you can pursue the compensation you deserve for your 9/11-linked health condition.

Hansen & Rosasco’s September 11 cancer lawyers provide a personalized approach for all individuals diagnosed with 9/11 cancers. It’s our job to get you and your family the maximum 9/11 Fund payouts you deserve.

If you have questions about obtaining free 9/11 medical care or uterine cancer award from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, please don’t hesitate to call us at (855) 353-4907 or fill out our contact form.

Posted under: 9/11 Cancers, Illnesses Covered, The Victims' Compensation Fund, World Trade Center Health Program

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