Portsmouth (VA) Firefighters Question High Cancer Rate

More than 40 Portsmouth (VA) firefighters have died of cancer over the past few decades, according to estimates from association members, usually after retirement from the fire department. At least 13 other retired firefighters are cancer survivors or are fighting the disease.

A report from The Virginian-Pilot today (http://bit.ly/xgaZDY) details how members of the Portsmouth Retired Police and Fire Fighters Association began keeping track of cancer-related deaths in fire department retirees and uncovered the pattern. At least one victim, Troy Tippin, asked a doctor if the disease was related to firefighting, but the doctor replied that he wasn't certain.

The report details some of the findings of the association and the experiences of some Portsmouth firefighters who were stricken with cancer. It goes on to point on the firefighting-cancer connection, including research from the University of Cincinnati that concluded that there was probably an association between firefighting and four types of cancers: prostate, testicular, non-Hodgkin lymphoma and multiple myeloma (plasma cells in bone marrow).

Read the ful report at http://bit.ly/xgaZDY.

For more on cancer in firefighters, consider National Fire Fighter Near-Miss Reporting System: Firefighter Wellness and Cancer Prevention, Extinguishing Cancer in Firefighters, USFA and NIOSH Initiate Study of Cancer among Firefighters, Firefighter Cancer Support Network urges awareness, Prostate Cancer : Fighting the “Fire” Within, and Colon Cancer : Early Detection Is Key.

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