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What Are The Treatment Options for 9/11 Breast Cancer Survivors?

cancer cell

When the twin towers collapsed on 9/11, thousands of residents of New York City were exposed to many contaminants such as glass, asbestos, and concrete dust. Many people in New York City went back downtown after the attacks, to help rebuild the city, and many have suffered from breast cancer, or still are suffering. Those women may qualify for free health coverage from the government for life. Keep reading to find out how.

Government Programs

There are two federal programs to help people with an illness related to 9/11. All 9/11 claims are paid fully because funding for these Funds are unlimited. Collecting 9/11 benefits can be difficult without the help of an experienced 9/11 attorney. Claims require necessary paperwork and documentation, which is difficult and time-consuming. There are many legal issues and details that experienced lawyers can help with. The most beneficial part of hiring an attorney is that they will take care of the legal issues, while the patient focuses on healing. 

Signs of Breast Cancer

For women who were near Ground Zero and the exposure zone during 9/11, or the months that followed 9/11, it is important to recognize thesigns of breast cancer. Spotting the cancer early and treating it early are key to surviving breast cancer.

Some women feel a lump in their breast or armpit. Scans can show a thicker part of the tissue, and sometimes a dimpling of breast tissue. Often, the nipple area is red and it contains flaky skin. Sometimes there can be a discharge from the nipple as well, other than breastmilk. A change in size or shape of the breast can be a sign of breast cancer. If there is unusual pain in any area of the breast, a woman should see her doctor immediately. Patients who are diagnosed with breast cancer related to the 9/11 attacks can seek treatment and compensation through several federal programs.

Treatment for Breast Cancer

About half of women with stage I or stage II breast cancer have surgery to remove the cancerous tissue, and a small layer of normal tissue. They then receive radiation therapy to make sure that all of the cancer cells have died. For women with stage III cancer, a mastectomy (surgically removing the entire breast) is usually performed, and chemotherapy is given afterward. Women who have metastatic disease (stage IV) receive a variety of treatments including chemotherapy or radiation alone, surgical removal, or a combination of two or more treatments. The overall 5-year survival rate for breast cancer is about 90%.

Breast Cancer Monitoring

There are federal programs to screen for signs of cancer. Every year, people can get an exam by cancer specialists and medical experts to check for signs of illnesses related to 9/11. It is a yearly exam, and it includes tests of breathing, physical exams, X-rays, mental health checks, and screenings for cancer. Women between the ages of 50-74 are able to receive a digital mammogram every other year. If the mammogram shows cancer, the program will pay for more testing, and even pay for the treatment if it is determined that it was related to 9/11.

Many people suffered through the devastation of 9/11. Women now suffering from breast cancer because of exposure during 9/11 do not need to suffer more. The programs that are in place can help to ease the pain financially.