Bladder Cancer

The Link Between Bladder Cancer and 9/11

Lower Manhattan responders and residents in 2001 who had a long history of smoking and/or exposure to industrial chemicals or paint products were especially at high risk for bladder cancer since the dark dirty cloud that erupted upon the towers’ collapse was filled with additional carcinogenic substances which were used in the construction materials of the towers. Dangerous, high concentrations of arsenic were present in the toxic dust following the collapse of the World Trade Center Towers. Scientists have identified arsenic as a known human carcinogen that may lead to the development of bladder cancer.  9/11 responders and survivors were exposed to massive amounts of arsenic in the clouds of dust and debris resulting from the Twin Towers’ collapse.Although the original exposure occurred in 2001, abnormal cell growth and bladder tumors did not appear until years later, as is typical with many forms of cancer. 

About Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a malignant tumor that starts in the cells of the bladder. Malignant means that it can spread, or metastasize, to other parts of the body.

The bladder is a pouch in the pelvis just above and behind the pubic bone. Pear-shaped and surrounded by muscle, it acts as a reservoir for urine that has been deposited by the kidneys. As with other cancers, bladder cancer starts when cells that line it begin to grow out of control; over time, a tumor may form. In serious cases, it can spread to other parts of the body, traveling through the lymph system. Bladder cancer is relatively rare in the general population, and is found most often in males over 40, especially if they have a long history of smoking and/or exposure to industrial chemicals or paint products.

Bladder Cancer Symptoms

 Blood in the urine is generally the first sign of possible bladder cancer. The urine may be appear to be orange or even dark red, but even when it looks normal, a urine test can detect small amounts of blood that are present. However blood in the urine can have other causes - consult your physician for a thorough evaluation.

Generally, there is no other pain, or other symptoms associated with 9/11 bladder cancer.

Bladder Cancer Treatment & Prognosis

Depending on the stage at which it is detected, 9/11 bladder cancer can be highly treatable, using surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy. One relatively new form of treatment for early stage 9/11 bladder cancer is intravesical therapy, in which a drug is introduced directly into the bladder through a catheter. With this approach, the chemical can affect the offending cells lining the bladder without a negative impact on the rest of the body. The 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer is about 63% if it is caught relatively early. If it grows into other organs, that rate is considerably lower.
Learn more about bladder cancer from the American Cancer Society.

Actual Compensation Result

A firefighter and Kreindler client who suffered with a malignant neoplasm of the bladder received an award of $319,463.