The aftermath of the 9/11 World Trade Center (WTC) terrorist attacks has left many first responders, survivors, and Lower Manhattan community nursing a myriad of health conditions.
From cancers to musculoskeletal disorders, mental health conditions, digestive disorders, and traumatic injuries, it has been a gruesome journey of pain and tears for these heroes. 9/11-related bladder cancer has been among the top cancer incidences that the World Trade Center Health Program has handled.
If you're a first responder or survivor of the 9/11 attacks battling bladder cancer, the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) can provide you with the necessary financial support to help manage the condition.
We understand the burden of dealing with ill health can be overwhelming. As a result, you may feel like the complex legal process of pursuing a bladder cancer compensation claim is too much of a struggle.
The experienced VCF bladder cancer lawyers at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata can help manage the claims process from the start to the tail end (registration to compensation).
Once you contact us, we will help you file the claim, compile the necessary documentation and fight to get you maximum compensation.
The connection between Ground Zero & bladder cancer in 9/11 responders & survivors
Bladder cancer has many risk factors, with the prevalence being higher in people aged 70 and above, males, smokers, and those with a family history of bladder cancer. Aside from these risk factors, increased exposure to certain chemicals, such as arsenic, also puts one at a higher risk.
Usually, the kidney filters harmful chemicals from the bloodstream and sends them to the bladder for elimination. Hence, when you're exposed to excessive amounts of chemicals, the bladder, which holds them awaiting elimination, suffers.
Can asbestos exposure cause bladder cancer?
The collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers exposed first responders and survivors to untold amounts of chemicals as toxic dust from the rubble engulfed the air including dangerous levels of asbestos.
The toxins from smoke, cement dust, pulverized building materials, and asbestos predisposed them to many health conditions, some of which have laid dormant only surfacing years later.
A previous cancer research showed that exposure to asbestos increases the odds of one developing bladder cancer, which explains the rise in incidences among the first responders and survivors who interacted with the toxic dust.
Another chemical that has been linked to the 9/11 bladder cancer is aromatic amine, which was heavily present in the Ground Zero area following the attack.
Aromatic amines are usually compounds used to manufacture industrial chemicals. According to a study on the relationship between aromatic amines exposure and bladder cancer, the mortality rate rose with increased exposure.
Overall, the World Trade Center health program has featured bladder cancer among the list of top 15 certified cancers.
Common symptoms & warning signs of bladder cancer
Malignant bladder tumors develop from an overgrowth of cancer cells.
There are various bladder cancers, depending on where it begins. The most common is called urothelial carcinoma (transitional cell carcinoma), which starts on the surface of the bladder's inner lining.
This type of cancer is usually non-muscle invasive. Since urothelial cells  are also present in the kidneys and ureters, urothelial cancer can affect these organs as well, but it's more prevalent in the bladder.
Other less common bladder cancers – squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma – are muscle-invasive since they develop under the lining. Unlike urothelial carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, for instance, is caused by irritation to the bladder.
Bladder cancer symptoms depend on the stage.
Early-stage symptoms include:
- Blood in urine - hematuria (sometimes the urine doesn't turn color, but blood can be detected through a test)
- Frequent urination
- Painful urination
Advanced stage symptoms include:
- Lower back pain
- Inability to urinate
- Swelling in the feet
- Loss of appetite and weight loss
- Bone pain
However, note that the presence of these symptoms does not necessarily signify existence of cancer.
There are other conditions, such as urinary tract infection (UTI), which manifest similar symptoms. After conducting the test (cystoscopy, cytology, imaging tests, etc.), the doctor can confirm your condition (bladder cancer, urinary tract infection, etc.)
Following a positive diagnosis, the doctor usually recommends the appropriate bladder cancer treatment, depending on the type and stage. This could be surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, etc.
VCF payouts for 9/11 bladder cancer compensation claims
WTC VCF cancer payouts for 9/11 bladder cancer compensation claims vary depending on the level of illness and quality of life. In other words, the fund seeks to provide financial compensation in line with the losses sustained (reinstate).
Once the 9/11 VCF establishes your eligibility, they compensate both economic and non-economic losses. To prove your presence in the WTC or surrounding New York City exposure zone before and after the attack, you must provide evidence from two sources.
This may be residential proof, affidavits from co-workers, work letters, etc. Since much time has passed, getting these documents might be a hassle. But the attorneys at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata can help you gather the necessary documents and present them for the claim processing.
Non-economic loss (health care costs) payout can be up to $250,000.
But there are a few cases where patients have received more. If the illness incapacitates you and you're completely unable to work, you will receive compensation for loss of earnings (economic loss) equivalent to the years remaining before retirement (65).
For instance, if you were earning $80,000 per year and become incapacitated at 55, your loss of earnings compensation will be $800,000, i.e., $80,000 x 10 years.
The survival rates for bladder cancer patients are pretty impressive, especially at earlier stages.
However, where someone has succumbed to the illness, their family can also file a claim. Victim Compensation Fund payout for bladder cancer-caused death is $250,000.
If the beneficiaries were dependents of the deceased, each one receives $100,000 in addition to the death benefit and cancer compensation.
How a 9/11 lawyer can help with your bladder cancer claim
The legal process of filing and receiving compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund can be complex and tedious. As much as Congress has availed funds to compensate for 9/11 bladder cancer and other covered conditions for many years to come, getting these funds calls for lots of work to prove eligibility and then negotiate for fair compensation.
Remember, the VCF cannot just rely on your word of mouth to approve your eligibility. You must provide documentation to prove your presence, diagnosis date, treatment, and any losses you have incurred following your illness.
The team of 9/11 lawyers at Cannata, Hendele & Cannata can help ease the process by gathering all the necessary documentation to prove your eligibility. After that, we will help you file the claim and negotiate to secure you maximum compensation.
Discuss your 9/11-related bladder cancer claim with a VCF lawyer today
Exposure to chemical substances – arsenic, asbestos, aromatic amines, among others – predisposed first responders and survivors of the 9/11 WTC terrorist attacks to the risk of bladder cancer.
While we are often exposed to moderate quantities of these chemicals, such as arsenic in drinking water, the carcinogens-laden dust from the twin towers rubble contained exceeding amounts.
Prolonged inhalation of the toxic dust resulted in high chemical concentration in the bladder, putting the people at a high risk. As a result, bladder cancer is now among the many illnesses affecting first responders and survivors of the tragedy.
At Cannata, Hendele & Cannata, we help the 9/11 WTC heroes receive compensation from the Victim Compensation Fund to ease their financial burden and cover any losses such as lost earnings.
We have helped thousands of individuals get monetary compensation (over $300 million awarded) for various health conditions, including bladder cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, and all types of qualifying conditions.
With years of experience with VCF claims procedures, you can confidently trust your bladder cancer claim to us. We will do all the legwork to get you the funds while you concentrate on your health.
If you've been diagnosed with bladder cancer, don't wait until it's too late to file a bladder cancer claim with the VCF.