Pinpointing the exact cause of cancer is extremely difficult
because firefighters are not exposed to just one agent. They are exposed to multiple cancer-causing agents. Because of the multiple exposures and the multiple routes of exposure—they inhale carcinogens, and carcinogens are absorbed through the skin—it is also highly unlikely for firefighters to get only one type of cancer.
—Dr. Grace LeMasters
Here you’ll find the latest information on the cancers impacting the lives of first responders. From articles and prevention tips to awareness training modules, PowerPoint presentations and screenings to workers’ compensation issues to national registries and organizations allied in support of firefighters with cancer, every resource you need is at your fingertips, in one place.
Planning, preparation and communication are key elements in the process to purchase the right personal protective equipment (PPE) and equipment storage for your department. In this article, we’ll tell you what you need to know to make a good buying decision
These findings of an association of firefighting with significant increased risk for specific types of cancer raise red flags and should encourage further development of innovative comfort-able protective equipment allowing firefighters to do their jobs without compromising their health.
To examine exposure‚Äìresponse relationships between surrogates of firefighting exposure and select outcomes among previously studied US career firefighters.
Firefighters can do little to control their exposure to toxic sub-stances that adversely affect health. They can, however, mitigate that exposure through sound practices like wearing SCBA, clean- ing PPE after incidents, not smoking, exercising, sleeping better and eating well.
Recent reviews and reports of cancer incidence and mortality in firefighters conclude that they are at an increased risk of a number of cancers. These include leukemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, male breast cancer, malignant melanoma, and cancers of the brain, stomach, colon, rectum, prostate, urinary bladder, testes, and thyroid.
FIRE SERVICE OCCUPATIONAL CANCER ALLIANCE
After the Diagnosis
FCSN provides assistance to fire/EMS personnel and their family members who have been diagnosed with cancer. They provide rapid postdiagnosis resources followed by one-on-one support from fellow firefighters—and they will send you a FCSN signature toolbox free of charge. It contains critical resources to help you plan, communicate and take action with your doctors, your loved ones, and your brothers and sisters in the fire service. FCSN has more than 120 fire service mentors with personal experience facing many types of cancer. FCSN mentors can provide newly diagnosed fire/EMS members with valuable information about a particular type of cancer, share their own experiences with testing and treatments, and offer valuable insight into the recovery process.Visit the FCSN
Fighting fires is a dangerous profession, and the danger goes beyond the hazards of running into a burning building.
Numerous studies show that firefighters’ exposure on the fireground, where smoke and hazardous chemicals are released from burning materials, may increase their risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. While the association between firefighting and disease seems clear, more information about these health risks is needed—especially with regard to the higher risk of cancer among firefighters.
To better understand the link between on-the-job exposure to toxicants and cancer, Congress directed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create the National Firefighter Registry (NFR).
Visit the National Firefighter Registry