Cancer among Indiana Firefighters: Case-Control Studies

Examine the impact of clinical, occupational, and lifestyle exposures on firefighter cancer

    • Current Projects
    • cancer, firefighter health
  • Funding Source: Prime Award, FEMA #EMW-2018-FP-00562
  • PI: Steven M. Moffatt MD, Stefanos Kales MD (Cambridge Health Alliance); Co-I: Carolyn M. Muegge PhD


Study Aim: Examine the impact of clinical, occupational, and lifestyle exposures on cancer risk among Indiana firefighters


Background: Evidence suggests that firefighters are exposed to carcinogens at work and have an increased risk of cancer when compared to the general population. However, previous research studies lacked detailed information on firefighter cancer risk factors like occupational exposures, clinical characteristics, and lifestyle factors.


Study Description:

A case-control study is currently underway to examine the relationships between risk factors and cancer outcomes. Both the cases (firefighters with a history of cancer) and the controls (firefighters without a history of cancer) are Indiana career firefighters.


The study team has linked together state registries, fire department and medical records, and cancer risk questionnaires to identify occupational, medical, and lifestyle factors statistically associated with firefighter cancer. A cancer risk questionnaire is also being distributed among Indiana volunteer firefighters and will be analyzed as a standalone dataset.


The ultimate purpose of this project is to improve firefighter health and wellness by better understanding the fire service’s cancer burden and using these findings to inform cancer prevention guidelines and target health interventions.

Project Cover Photo by Andrew Gaines on Unsplash