9/11 Colon/Colorectal Cancer

About Colorectal Cancer 

The term colorectal cancer covers cancers of the rectum, as well as cancers of the colon (also known as the large intestine) which connects to the rectum for the elimination of waste from the human body.

As the last step in the digestive system, the role of the colon is to eliminate water, salt and some nutrients from digested food, in the formation of stool. Muscles along the 5-foot length of the colon help move its contents along.

Most often, colorectal cancer first appears as a grape-like growth on the inner lining of the colon or rectum called a polyp. Adenomatous polyps (adenomas) may or may not expand into cancerous tumors over time, but Hyperplastic polyps, which are more common, typically do not.

Like many other cancers, colorectal cancer can spread to nearby organs, or by infiltrating the blood or lymph system, to other parts of the body

The 9/11 Colon/Colorectal Cancer Connection 

This type of cancer is among the most common found among 9/11 responders and residents. For this reason, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund has been providing lump-sum financial reimbursement for the medical and other expenses of those whose cancer is found to be 9/11 related.

Since early detection is so crucial in stopping the progress of 9/11 colorectal cancer, colonoscopies have been recommended for lower Manhattan residents in the exposure zone who think they may have been at risk. Since this type of cancer has a long latency period, those who were first exposed to the carcinogenic air particles on and after 9/11 may not have understood the connection to their cancer diagnosis 5 or 10 years later.  

Learn more about The Zadroga Act, the government’s response to the 9/11 terrorist attack’s impact on human life and health.

Colon/Colorectal Cancer Symptoms 

Symptoms may not appear right away. However when they do, they might include diarrhea or constipation, rectal bleeding, abdominal cramps, fatigue, and unexpected weight loss.

However these problems may be the result of other health issues; only a thorough medical examination can determine the true cause.

Also, since 9/11 colorectal cancers can bleed into the digestive tract, the blood loss can become apparent in a low red blood cell count (anemia) in a standard blood test. 

Colon/Colorectal Cancer Treatment & Prognosis

A surgical approach to removing 9/11 colon cancer may be combined with radiation therapy or chemotherapy, or those two therapies may be performed alone in hopes of avoiding the need for surgery. A procedure known as ablation seeks to kill the tumor without actually removing it.

Newer targeted approaches have helped lessen the impact of these various approaches, reducing typical recovery time.

The 5-year relative survival rate for sufferers of 9/11 colorectal cancer ranges widely, from 92% when it’s caught at Stage I, to 11% for Stage IV, in which the cancer has metastasized to other areas of the body.

Learn more about Colon/Colorectal cancer from the American Cancer Society.

Compensation for 9/11 Colon/Colorectal Cancer Victims

The 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (part of The Zadroga Act) offers financial reimbursement for medical expenses and related costs associated with Colon/Colorectal cancer that was caused by the 2001 terrorist attack.  

Find out more about the Victim’s Compensation Fund, eligibility, next steps, deadlines, what it covers, and more.

Actual Client Compensation Result

A construction worker first responder and VCF Kreindler client suffering from Malignant Neoplasm of Ascending Colon was awarded $340,000.