Melanoma Skin Cancer

The 9/11 Melanoma Skin Cancer Connection

Melanoma skin cancer is the third most common form of cancer diagnosed by the WTC Health Program (non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common and prostrate cancer is the second most common form of cancer diagnosed by the WTCHP).

View the chart of the 15 Most Prevalent Cancers

Skin cancer has been found to be one of the latent health issues caused by the airborne toxins that emanated from Ground Zero when the twin towers collapsed.

Scientists found many toxic particles in samples of 9/11 dust, including:

  • gypsum
  • pulverized rock
  • insulation
  • carpeting
  • asbestos
  • copper
  • iron
  • titanium (found in white wall paint)
  • glass
  • calcium carbonate
  • lead

Therefore the Victim Compensation Fund (VVF) included melanoma among the medical problems they cover.

Melanoma has been found not only in first responders and Ground Zero clean-up crews, but also in lower Manhattan residents, workers and students. The carcinogenic particles in the toxic dust, partially due to their large size, can overcome the body’s natural defenses.

About Melanoma Skin Cancer

Melanoma skin cancer is less common, but more serious and aggressive than non-melanoma skin cancer. Usually, in cases of melanoma, ultraviolet radiation from the sun (or tanning beds) triggers mutations, or genetic defects, that cause skin cells to rapidly multiply and form malignant tumors.

Melanoma skin cancer starts in melanocyte cells of the skin. A cancerous, or malignant tumor is a group of cancer cells that can grow into and destroy nearby tissue. It can also spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body.

Melanoma often first presents as what appear to be moles on the skin that didn’t exist before. Those moles are usually black or brown, but can also be pink, red, white, skin-colored, or even purple or blue. Malignant moles or marks on the skin can sometimes be identified by the fact that they are asymmetrical. Although early and regular screenings are advised, remember however that most moles, brown spots, and growths on the skin are generally harmless.

But in some cases, changes to melanocytes can cause melanoma skin cancer. A change in the color, size or shape of a mole is usually the first sign of melanoma skin cancer.

There are 4 main types of melanoma skin cancer:

  1. Superficial spreading melanoma is the most common type.
  2. nodular melanoma
  3. lentigo maligna melanoma
  4. acral lentiginous melanoma

The WTC Health Program covers malignant melanoma of skin.

On the body, Melanoma can be found on:

  • Ear and external auricular canal
  • Eyelid, including canthus
  • Lip
  • Lower limb, including hip
  • Other and unspecified parts of face
  • Overlapping malignant melanoma of skin
  • Scalp and neck
  • Skin, unspecified
  • Trunk
  • Upper limb, including shoulder

Melanoma Skin Cancer Treatment & Prognosis

9/11 Melanoma skin cancer can often be curable if it’s caught and treated in its early stages. However, if it is allowed to spread to other parts of the body, it can become much harder to treat, and the possibility increases for it to be life threatening. There are various types of surgery for the removal of malignant skin tumors. The most common is called Wide Excision Surgery (or Wide Local Excision - WLE). It includes removing some of the healthy tissue around the tumor. If lymph nodes may be involved, those nodes are also surgically extracted. Radiation therapy is also used to destroy malignant cells, and can also be used as a second step after surgery (known as adjuvant therapy) to help prevent the cancer from recurring. While melanoma is not the most common type of skin cancer, it is responsible for the most deaths. In the general population, around 10,000 people die of melanoma skin cancer each year in the United States.
Learn more about melanoma skin cancer from the American Cancer Society.

Financial Compensation – actual Kreindler 9/11 VCF client:

An example of a financial recovery for a skin cancer client would be $250,000 for a NYC Department of Correction Officer who suffered from skin cancer.
Read other 9/11 Case Results and VCF Compensation Amounts

Every case is different. Your results may differ from those of previous clients based on the facts of your case, your diagnosis, the extent of your illness, the dates associated with your exposure and diagnosis and other factors. A member of the Kreindler 9/11 VCF team can discuss all of these factors with you.

Attorneys on Your Side

If you have a diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer that you believe may be related to 9/11, click or call our Kreindler 9/11 VCF team at 877-505-0090 for helpful answers about your eligibility for compensation.