9/11 Skin Cancer

9/11 Skin Cancer

Michael Dorian, who has 9/11 related skin cancer, was recently profiled on New York Fox 5 News about his 9/11 cancer. He is urging all first responders, volunteers, downtown workers and downtown residents to take advantage of yearly skin cancer screens at the World Trade Center Health Program.

Michael was a veterinary technician who went down to Ground Zero on 9/11 soon after the buildings collapsed as a volunteer. He administered oxygen and washed out the eyes of first responders and other volunteers who were on the pile.

Michael was there for only about 24 hours working on top of the pile.  Within days, he was in the hospital with throat burns from inhaling the dust, fumes and debris.

14 years after 9/11, at age 47, Michael was diagnosed with skin cancer. Skin cancer is one of the most common cancers impacting 9/11 survivors.  The World Trade Center Health Program’s list of almost 70 covered cancers linked to 9/11 includes skin cancer, including 9/11 melanoma.

The are three common types of  9/11 skin cancer:

  • Basal cell carcinoma

  • Squamous cell carcinoma

  • Melanoma (by far the most serious of 9/11 related skin cancers)

Michael says his doctors have given him just two years to live. Despite that dire prognosis, Michael says he does not regret helping at Ground Zero. He says he would do it again because he knows he helped. Michael is a true 9/11 volunteer hero!

Michael is now trying to help other volunteers. He says he never realized his cancer could be linked to 9/11. He was not aware of the World Trade Center Health Program at Mount Sinai Hospital.

It is available to anyone who lived or worked in any capacity south of Canal Street (see map here) between 9/11/2001 and 5/30/2002. He is urging everyone to get screened, even if they don’t have symptoms now.

If you would like to join the World Trade Center Health Program, you may call 1-888-982-4748. In the alternative, our 9/11 lawyers enroll our clients in the medical program for free.

Michael is thankful for every day he has left. He says there is a drug currently in clinical trials that could possibly prolong his life.  Let’s hope he will stay alive long enough to get the chance to try it.