According to a 2011 study of NYC firefighters, 9/11 first responders are at least 19 percent more likely to contract colon cancer than those who did not work at Ground Zero. Hundreds of toxic materials and aerosolized carcinogens permeated the air over Ground Zero for months after the attacks on September 11th, and those who lived, worked, and studied near the area breathed in these poisons. What’s worse, disease caused by the 9/11 terrorist attacks is still being diagnosed today, nearly 20 years later. Colon cancer is also a covered condition by the WTCHP for survivors who lived, worked, and spent time in any capacity in Lower Manhattan, below Canal Street between September 11th, 2001 through May 30, 2002.
Our team of 9/11 attorneys provide effective legal representation for the 9/11 community and can prosecute your 9/11 colon cancer claim so you can obtain the compensation you deserve.
What is Colon Cancer?
Colon cancer is a type of cancer that starts in the large intestine or colon. It is often grouped with rectal cancer (cancer of the rectum) as “colorectal cancer.”
Colon cancer starts with the formation of small cell growths called “polyps.” These growths are benign at first, but if left untreated, the cells that makeup polyps may mutate and become cancerous. Uncontrollable cell growth in the colon can spread to the rectum, lymph nodes, and other organs.
There are four stages of colon cancer, marked by how far cancer has spread. In stages one and two, cancer grows in the colon lining and may affect nearby muscles. In stages three and four, cancer spreads to the lymph nodes and other organs, respectively.
Symptoms of Colon Cancer
In the early stages, colon cancer may not produce any symptoms, or the symptoms are so slight that the patient may not identify them as part of a more serious problem. These early symptoms may include:
- Bloody stool;
- Rectal bleeding;
- Constipation or diarrhea;
- Abdominal pain; and
- Changes in stool color, shape, or texture.
Once colon cancer advances to stages three and four, the patient may experience symptoms such as:
- Fatigue or weakness;
- Weight loss;
- A feeling of fullness in the bowels, even after eliminating; and
- Changes in bowel movements that last for longer than one month
Colon cancer typically presents itself in patients who are 50 years of age and older, which is why regular colonoscopies are standard medical procedure for patients of this age group. Monitoring for colon cancer from the WTCHP is especially important if you were in the Exposure Zone in the months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) covers colon cancer as a 9/11-related health condition. As such, 9/11 colon cancer patients can receive treatment under this program. The highly experienced 9/11 colon cancer lawyers at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP can enroll you in the WTCHP and prosecute your VCF claim for financial compensation. Contact us today at 212-983-3000 for a free and confidential consultation about your case.
How is Colon Cancer Diagnosed?
To diagnose colon cancer, your doctor will perform a physical exam, and will most likely order a slate of tests. Testing for colon cancer includes fecal tests, colonoscopies, and blood tests. Your doctor may take a tissue sample, or biopsy, from abnormal areas during a colonoscopy or when removing polyps. Your doctor will then examine the biopsied cells for signs of colon cancer.
If your doctor finds evidence of colon cancer, he or she will then determine how far cancer has progressed using Pet scans and CT scans.
How is Colon Cancer Treated?
Your treatment for 9/11 colon cancer will depend on where it is located and how far it has advanced. Depending on your stage of cancer, you may need to have parts of your colon removed. If only a small part needs to be removed, the surgeon can often connect the healthy parts of the colon together, and after a period of healing your colon will function normally. However, if a large portion of the colon must be removed, you will require a colostomy bag.
After surgical intervention, you might undergo radiation or chemotherapy to ensure all cancerous cells have been eliminated from your body. If cancer does not respond to these standard treatments, your doctor may prescribe you immunotherapy drugs that help your body fight your colon cancer using its natural defenses.
If caught early, colon cancer is treatable. If it has spread to other parts of the body, treatment can become more difficult, and thus the prognosis for late-stage colon cancer patients is typically poor. However, the treatments available for late-stage colon cancer have advanced significantly in the last few decades, and many of colon cancer patients survive at least five years after diagnosis. If you believe you may have 9/11-related colon cancer and you were present in the Exposure Zone during the required time frame, speak with a 911 attorney about filing a 9/11 colon cancer claim today.
9/11 and Colon Cancer Development
We are still learning the extent to which 9/11 impacted those who were directly involved in the aftermath of the tragic events. We do know that 9/11 first responders have a 15 percent increased risk of developing cancer in their lifetime than the general population. Since 9/11 responders and survivors are at a greater risk for colon cancer, they should enroll in the WTCHP to receive cancer screening.
Early and frequent colon cancer screening could save lives. If you have a family history of colon cancer, or other digestive and bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, your risk of developing 9/11-related colon cancer increases even further.
VCF Compensation Available For 9/11 Colon Cancer Claims
Fortunately, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund and the World Trade Center Health Program provide compensation for pain and suffering as well as medical treatment to those who were present in the aftermath of 9/11 and have developed health conditions as a result. If you were a volunteer, first responder, or survivor in the New York City Exposure Zone, and you have been diagnosed with colon cancer, you may qualify for substantial compensation.
Contact the skilled colon cancer lawyers at Weisfuse & Weisfuse, LLP at 212-983-3000 for a free consultation about your 9/11 colon cancer claim.