Objective: The objective of this study was to examine the cancer risk associated with firefighting.
Methods: Standardized incidence ratio analysis (SIR) was used to determine the relative cancer risk for firefighters as compared with the Florida general population.
Results: 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).
Conclusions: 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.