The objective of this study was to examine the cancer risk associated with firefighting.
Standardized incidence ratio analysis (SIR) was used to determine the relative cancer risk for firefighters as compared with the Florida general population.
Among 34,796 male (413,022 person-years) and 2,017 female (18,843 person-years) firefighters, 970 male and 52 female cases of cancer were identified. Male firefighters had significantly increased incidence rates of bladder (SIR = 1.29; 95% confidence interval = 1.01–1.62), testicular (1.60; 1.20–2.09), and thyroid cancers (1.77; 1.08–2.73). Female firefighters had significantly increased incidence rates of overall cancer (1.63; 1.22–2.14), cervical (5.24; 2.93–8.65), and thyroid cancer (3.97; 1.45–8.65) and Hodgkin disease (6.25; 1.26–18.26).
Firefighting may be associated with an increased risk of selected site-specific cancers in males and females, including an overall increased cancer risk in female firefighters.