Hansen & Rosasco, LLP - Lawyers representing September 11 victims since 2001

What is Causing the Increased Detection Rate of 9/11-Related Thyroid Cancer?

By Hansen & Rosasco

Medical surveillance – and not the increase of thyroid cancer itself – has been found to be the primary reason for the increased detection rate of 9/11-related thyroid cancer diagnoses among World Trade Center-exposed male firefighters, according to the results of a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. So, what does this mean? Simply stated, through routine testing many of the firefighters were diagnosed with asymptomatic thyroid cancers – which means they were not experiencing any symptoms of having the disease.

Understanding the numbers

To sum it up, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program analyzed data from almost 15,000 WTC-exposed rescue/recovery workers who were on site between the morning of the attacks on September 11, 2001 and July 25, 2002. Over the course of 17 years – from September 12, 2001 through December 31, 2018 – researchers monitored the group of men and identified 72 cases of thyroid cancer, with 53 (81.5%) of the cases considered asymptomatic and 12 (18.5%) symptomatic or showing symptoms. (Women were excluded from the study due to small sample size.)


WTC workers rank higher in cancer diagnoses

Demographically, the study revealed that the rate of asymptomatic cancer in WTC-exposed firefighters was more than three-fold compared to similar workers in one group from a project in Minnesota. As for symptomatic thyroid cancer cases, the study also revealed the rate of fire department workers who had shown symptoms was not significantly different than the men in Minnesota. It is important to note there were no findings of any thyroid cancer-specific deaths or metastatic disease.

Key findings from the WTC

According to the latest statistics from the WTC, almost 1,000 people (503 responders and 466 survivors, which included Downtown New York City (NYC) residents, area workers and students) who were exposed to 9/11 toxins on September 11, 2001 or at any time during the following year have 9/11-related thyroid cancer. The key takeaway from these latest findings reveals how the number of 9/11-related thyroid cancer cases diagnosed in the survivor population is almost as frequent as among those diagnosed in first responders.

The importance of testing

If you think you might have been exposed to the toxins in Lower Manhattan during the time period listed above, know that being proactive is the best way to stay ahead of your health. Did you know the WTC Health Program offers free benefits, which includes a comprehensive medical screening to WTC-area workers, Downtown NYC residents or students who qualify? It is time to put your mind to rest. Here are some of the benefits you could receive:

Enrolled responders receive:

  • Annual monitoring exams

Enrolled screening-eligible survivors receive:

  • A one-time initial health evaluation.*

*If the initial health evaluation does not result in any certifications and the survivor later feels a new health problem that may by WTC-related, he or she can pay out-of-pocket for an additional health evaluation by a Program-affiliated doctor.

Enrolled responders and certified-eligible responders receive:

  • Annual monitoring exams
  • Medical and mental health treatment for covered WTC-related health conditions
  • Benefits counseling services

What to do if you have been diagnosed with 9/11-related thyroid cancer

If you are a WTC-exposed rescue or recovery worker who has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, then you may be entitled to compensation. Hansen & Rosasco, LLP has represented over 3,500 9/11 claimants since 2001 and has won hundreds of millions of dollars in 9/11 VCF Awards. Once we review your case, and prove to be eligible, we will place your claim on track to get you closer to receiving your VCF cancer payout.

Contact Hansen & Rosasco, LLP today for a free, no-obligation case review. In addition to learning more about 9/11-related illnesses, you can find out if you are eligible for compensation from the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Our team is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding registering with the WTC Health Program, where you may be entitled to free healthcare. Or, we can help determine your eligibility to file a claim with the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund. You may be entitled to a September 11th Victim Compensation Fund payout. Protecting your 9/11 rights begins today.

Authors of source article from JAMA Internal Medicine:

Hilary L. Colbeth, MPH (1,2); Natalia Genere, MD (3); Charles B. Hall, PhD (4,5); Nadia Jaber, RPA-C1Juan P. Brito, MD (3,6); Omar M. El Kawkgi, MD (3,6); David G. Goldfarb, MPH (1,2); Mayris P. Webber, Dr. PH (1,4,7); Theresa M. Schwartz, MS (1,2); David J. Prezant, MD (1,8); Rachel Zeig-Owens, DrPH (1,2,4)

Affiliations of the above authors:

  • 1. Fire Department of the City of New York, Bureau of Health Services, Brooklyn, New York
  • 2. Montefiore Medical Center, Pulmonology Division, Department of Medicine, Bronx, New York
  • 3. Mayo Clinic, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, and Nutrition, Department of Medicine, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 4. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Bronx, New York
  • 5. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Saul R. Korey Department of Neurology, Bronx, New York
  • 6. Mayo Clinic, Knowledge and Evaluation Research Unit, Rochester, Minnesota
  • 7. Montefiore Medical Center, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, Bronx, New York
  • 8. Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Pulmonology Division, Bronx, New York

JAMA Intern Med. Published online April 20, 2020. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.0950

Posted under: 9/11 First Responders, 9/11 News, 9/11 NYPD, 9/11 Survivors, 9/11 Volunteers, FDNY WTC Health Program, First Responders, NYPD, Thyroid Cancer
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