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The Road to Establish 9/11 Uterine Cancer

December, 2021

African American women looking distraughtEach day, 9/11 survivors and first responders continue to develop horrific and life-altering conditions many years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Because of the toxic nature of the dust emitted from Ground Zero, nearly every person exposed to 9/11 toxins is at risk of developing cancer and other debilitating illnesses. 

To ensure 9/11 victims have an opportunity to seek the medical treatment and compensation they need for years to come, Congress enacted the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, which was signed by President Obama in January of 2011. To extend benefits to victims in need, Congress enacted the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act of 2015, which President Obama signed into law.

The Zadroga Act created the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF). Both programs provide a means for 9/11 survivors and first responders (and representatives of deceased victims) to seek medical benefits and compensation. While no amount of compensation is enough to undo the damage of what so many victims are going through, the WTCHP and VCF provide the best available means to help victims.

Although the WTCHP and VCF have assisted victims in need, many female victims with uterine cancer (including endometrial cancer) have been denied benefits. Currently, uterine cancer is not considered a WTC-related health condition that merits an award of benefits. However, recent efforts to add uterine cancer to the list have proven fruitful. 

On November 18, 2021, the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) of the WTCHP  held a meeting to discuss the STAC’s preliminary assessment that uterine cancer should be included on the list of WTC-related health conditions. The STAC’s preliminary workgroup report provides ample support for why there is a “reasonable basis” to add uterine cancer to the list, paving a path for a new population of 9/11 victims to seek recovery.

The 9/11 Attorneys of Pitta & Baione LLP Continue to Fight for Victims

At Pitta & Baione LLP, our team of 9/11 attorneys provide legal representation and guidance to survivors and first responders of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Far too many women are suffering the consequences of uterine cancer, which they developed after exposure to 9/11 toxins.

Uterine cancer does not develop overnight. Now that the decision has been made to add uterine cancer to the list of qualifying WTC-related health conditions, you may have an opportunity to obtain benefits and compensation. Contact Pitta & Baione LLP today to learn how we may be able to help you or your loved ones.

Uterine Cancer is the Only Cancer Currently Excluded from the 9/11 Health Condition List

Most people will not dispute that exposure to 9/11 toxins can be a contributing factor to the development of cancer. However, for more than a decade, uterine cancer (with endometrial cancer being the most common subtype) has been left off the list of WTC-related health conditions. Why has it taken so long to add uterine cancer to the list? The short answer is that there is a lack of data supporting a link between exposure to 9/11 toxins and the development of uterine cancer. 

Why Is There a Lack of Data for Uterine Cancer?

Even though two decades have passed since the 9/11 attacks, the existing studies concerning exposure to 9/11 toxins and the development of cancer and other conditions do not address uterine cancer. By the time clear data exists to link exposure of 9/11 toxins to the development of uterine cancer, many victims will already have been suffering for many years or decades. 

Through no fault of their own, women have been disadvantaged by existing studies on occupational 9/11 exposure and cancer. The female population considered in past studies was too low to reveal any significance or draw any conclusion regarding uterine cancer.

A Reasonable Basis Exists to Add Uterine Cancer to the List

Rather than continue to wait for data that will likely support a causal link between 9/11 toxins and uterine cancer, the WTCHP is taking action to add uterine cancer to the list of WTC-related health conditions because there is a “reasonable basis to do so.” The additional information reviewed by the WTCHP and the STAC is enough to meet the “reasonable basis” threshold.

The History Of Getting Uterine Cancer Added to List Of 9/11 Conditions

Petition No. 1 – Request to Include All Cancer Types

Filed on September 7, 2011, Petition No.1 requested the inclusion of all cancer types to the list of WTC-related health conditions. While many cancer types were added in response to this petition, uterine cancer was left off the list.

Six Submissions That Did Not Meet the Petition Requirements

Prior to Petition No. 23 (described below), there were six submissions to the WTCHP requesting the addition of uterine cancer to the list of WTC-related health conditions. Each of these submissions did not meet the requirements to be considered valid petitions.

Petition No. 23 – Request to Include Uterine Cancer, Including Endometrial Cancer

Filed on April 17, 2019, Petition No. 23 requested the inclusion of uterine cancer, including endometrial cancer, to the list of WTC-related health conditions. The petition was denied based on a lack of data to support a link between exposure to 9/11 toxins uterine cancer.

September 2020 Petition – Request to Reconsider the Inclusion of Uterine and Endometrial Cancer

In September 2020, a petition was filed to revisit the issue of whether uterine cancer should be included on the WTC-related health condition list. The petition was denied on a technicality because the petition did not raise a new medical issue in accordance with WTCHP requirements. However, the Administrator of the WTCHP believed the additional evidence provided was sufficient to warrant further review.

The petition requested a review of the role of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) on the rate of uterine cancer cases. The WTCHP Administrator directed a review of evidence showing a link between EDCs (and other 9/11 toxins) and the incidence of uterine cancer. 

August 2, 2021 Letter from Members of Congress to the WTCHP Administrator

On August 2, 2021, a bipartisan group of lawmakers, headed by Congresswoman Mickie Sherrill (who represents the 11th District of New Jersey), wrote a letter to the WTCHP Administrator requesting swift action to move forward with adding uterine cancer to the list of WTC-related health conditions.

August 12, 2021 WTCHP Scientific Considerations for Adding Uterine Cancer to the List

The WTCHP submitted its preliminary assessment of the issue concerning the addition of uterine cancer to the list of WTC-related health conditions. The preliminary assessment was provided to the STAC for further review to recommend whether a reasonable basis exists to add uterine cancer to the list of qualifying conditions.

September 28-29, 2021 STAC Meeting

On September 28, 2021, which was day one of a two-day public meeting, WTCHP presented its preliminary assessment, and the public had an opportunity to submit comments. After this point, all signs suggested the eventual inclusion of uterine cancer on the WTC-related health condition list, but the process required additional steps.

November 18, 2021 STAC Meeting 

On November 18, 2021, the STAC met to present its recommendation that uterine cancer is included on the list of qualifying health conditions. The final decision was made to create a new regulatory rule identifying uterine cancer (including endometrial cancer) as a qualifying health condition.

Now that uterine cancer will be added to the list of WTC-related health conditions, the clerical aspects of the process will unfold, and that process could take months. Survivors and first responders with questions about their rights are encouraged to reach out to a 9/11 attorney.

Contact the 9/11 Lawyers of Pitta & Baione LLP Today

Are you a 9/11 survivor or first responder? Have you been diagnosed with uterine or endometrial cancer? If so, you may have an opportunity to seek benefits and compensation. At Pitta & Baione LLP, our 9/11 attorneys have successfully helped 9/11 victims obtain compensation and much-needed medical benefits for their suffering. To discuss your potential 9/11 uterine cancer claim, contact our office today by calling (844) 901-1237 to schedule your free consultation.

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