Background: Most studies of firefighter cancer risks were conducted prior to 1990 and do not reflect risk from advances in building materials.
Methods: A case-control study using California Cancer Registry data (1988-2007) was conducted to evaluate the risk of cancer among firefighters, stratified by race.
Results: This study identified 3,996 male firefighters with cancer. Firefighters were found to have a significantly elevated risk for melanoma (odds ratio [OR] = 1.8; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.4-2.1), multiple myeloma (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-1.8), acute myeloid leukemia (OR 1.4; 95%CI 1.0-2.0), and cancers of the esophagus (OR 1.6; 95%CI 1.2-2.1), prostate (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.3-1.7), brain (OR 1.5; 95%CI 1.2-2.0), and kidney (OR 1.3; 95%CI 1.0-1.6).
Conclusions: In addition to observing cancer findings consistent with previous research, this study generated novel findings for firefighters with race/ethnicity other than white. It provides additional evidence to support the association between firefighting and several specific cancers.
Keywords: cancer; firefighters; occupation; registry; risk.
© 2015 This article has been contributed to by US Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.