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New CDC registry could help identify link between firefighting and cancer

July 18, 2018

New CDC registry could help identify link between firefighting and cancer

President Trump last week signed the bipartisan Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). The bill requires the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) track cancer incidence in firefighters through a voluntary registry. According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, cancer is the number one cause of death among firefighters.

The registry will include information such as current age, age at cancer diagnosis, medical history and risk factors, and the number and nature of fires attended while serving as a firefighter. The CDC will encourage participation by volunteer, paid-on-call and career firefighters, as well as minority and female firefighters. This information will help the CDC guide future research about cancer risk factors associated with firefighting, which could lead to improved cancer prevention methods and protections for those in fire service.

If you or a loved one are a firefighter and are concerned about cancer, several professional societies representing fire fighters have released information on steps you can take to reduce cancer risk. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® fully supports the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act. Firefighters face a lot of risks in their jobs—cancer should not be one of them. View the bill to learn more about the plans for the registry.

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