The Difference Between the 2019 & 2020 WTCHP Uterine Cancer Petitions
The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 was the first step to providing survivors and responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with benefits to provide medical coverage for injuries and illnesses resulting from the attacks, as well as compensation. The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015 extended benefits and compensation to victims, with an emphasis on victims who continue to develop cancer many years after exposure to 9/11 toxins.
The World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) was created by the Zadroga Act to ensure that all qualifying claimants receive benefits if their medical conditions are deemed to be 9/11-related. Over the past decade, petitions have been filed to add new medical conditions to the list of qualifying 9/11-related illnesses that developed as a result of exposure to the cloud of toxins produced at Ground Zero. The Zadroga Act also created the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) to ensure victims receive compensation for their suffering.
The Link Between 9/11 & Uterine Cancer
In recent years, medical professionals, scientists, 9/11 cancer victims, and 9/11 attorneys have become aware of the link between exposure to 9/11 toxins and the development of uterine cancer, which includes endometrial cancer, the most common subtype of uterine cancer. More than 90 percent of uterine cancer cases involve the endometrium.
With so many other types of cancer considered 9/11-related illnesses, it may come as a surprise that uterine cancer has not already been added to the list. Presently, uterine cancer is the only cancer absent from the list of qualifying WTC-related health conditions.
As such, two petitions have been filed in the past two years to support the addition of uterine cancer to the list of illnesses included in the WTCHP. A 2019 petition was denied, and a 2020 petition was deemed invalid. However, the 2020 submission was powerful enough to elevate the issue of uterine cancer to the WTCHP’s Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). After STAC meetings to discuss inclusion of uterine cancer on the list of WTC-related medical conditions, the recommendation has been made to add uterine cancer to the list.
How the 9/11 Benefits Attorneys of Pitta & Baione LLP Can Help Uterine Cancer Claims
The 9/11 cancer claims lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP have devoted their careers to helping survivors and first responders of the heinous 9/11 terrorist attacks. Now that the evidence is catching up with the experiences of so many female 9/11 victims who are suffering from uterine cancer, many victims finally have a chance to seek medical benefits under the WTCHP and compensation through the VCF. Speak with a qualified 9/11 attorney today by contacting Pitta & Baione LLP for a free consultation to discuss your options.
Petition No. 23 – Request to Add Uterine Cancer to the List of 9/11-Related Illnesses
On April 23, 2019, Petition No. 23 was received by Dr. John Howard, M.D., the Administrator of the WTCHP. The petition was a request to add uterine cancer to the list of conditions that qualify for 9/11 health benefits and compensation. The Administrator denied the petition on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence to establish a causal link between exposure to 9/11 toxins and the development of uterine cancer.
The Administrator’s decision to deny Petition No. 23 was based, in part, on the fact that the studies provided as evidence of the link between exposure to 9/11 toxins and uterine cancer did not include a study of a 9/11-exposed population. Existing studies did not focus specifically on uterine cancer, and few females were included in the studies.
Additionally, based on a review of available peer-reviewed data, the Administrator found that none of the currently listed WTC-related health conditions are risk factors for the development of uterine cancer. In other words, insufficient data exists to demonstrate that the treatment of existing WTC-health-related conditions can lead to the development of a secondary medical condition, such as uterine cancer.
The Denial of the 2019 Petition Does Not Mean There is no Link Between 9/11 Toxins and Uterine Cancer
An outright denial of a petition is not the end of the story. Of the twenty-three petitions filed with the Administrator of the WTCHP, only two have been granted. As such, Petition No. 23 is certainly not the only petition to be denied over the past decade.
A silver lining of the Administrator’s denial of Petition No. 23 is that uterine cancer may be considered WTC-related health conditions on a case-by-case basis. As such, 9/11 survivors and first responders who have been diagnosed with uterine or endometrial cancer may have a chance to receive benefits if they can establish that uterine cancer was a consequence of treatment for an existing WTC-related health condition.
The Second Petition to Add Uterine Cancer to the List of 9/11-Related Illnesses
In September 2020, a petition was submitted to the Administrator of the WTCHP that, like Petition No. 23, sought the inclusion of uterine cancer on the list of WTC-related health conditions. As discussed in a presentation submitted by Dr. Geoff Calvert, M.D., the September 2020 petition did not meet the requirements to be considered a qualifying petition.
The submitted petition did not raise a new medical basis for the inclusion of uterine cancer to the list of qualifying 9/11-related health conditions but rather provided additional supporting evidence and arguments regarding the medical basis raised in Petition No. 23.
The September 2020 petition is somewhat like a renewal of Petition No. 23, as new evidence and vocal support have pushed the Administrator to act quickly to establish uterine cancer as a covered medical condition deserving of 9/11 benefits. The Administrator believed the 2020 submission was worthy of further review by the STAC, to be held at upcoming public meetings.
The Importance of the November 18, 2021 STAC Meeting
On November 18, 2021, the STAC held a public meeting to discuss the recommendations to add uterine cancer to the list of qualifying WTC-related health conditions. Adding a new medical condition to the list of 9/11-related illnesses is a time-consuming process that requires many formal steps. After reviewing the STAC’s report recommending the inclusion of uterine cancer to the list of eligible conditions, the public had an opportunity to offer comments.
The decision to add a medical condition to the list of WTC-related conditions is the first step in a months-long process. While the recent decision to add uterine cancer to the list is good news, victims will still need to wait until the framework is in place to apply for benefits and compensation.
Contact the 9/11 Attorneys of Pitta & Baione LLP for a Free Case Evaluation
Have you been diagnosed with uterine cancer or endometrial cancer? Are you a 9/11 survivor or first responder exposed to the 9/11 dust cloud? If so, you may be entitled to benefits. At Pitta & Baione LLP, our 9/11 attorneys represent survivors and first responders who suffer from injuries and illnesses that are the direct result of exposure to toxins. To find out whether you may qualify to receive 9/11 benefits, contact Pitta & Baione LLP today by calling (844) 901-1237 to schedule your free consultation.