What Type Of Cancer Do Firefighters Get?

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), firefighters have a 62 percent risk of cancer at a higher rate, and a 39 percent increased chance of dying from it.

Here’s a summary of the most common and serious risks faced by firefighters, along with some more particular hazards:

  • Testicular cancer – 2.02 times the risk ;
  • Mesothelioma – 2.0 times greater risk;
  • Multiple myeloma -1.53 times greater risk;
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – 1.51 times greater risk;
  • Skin cancer – 1.39 times greater risk;
  • Malignant melanoma – 1.31 times greater risk;
  • Brain cancer -1.31 times greater risk;
  • Prostate cancer – 1.28 times greater risk;
  • Colon cancer -1.21 times significant risk; and
  • Leukemia – 1.14 times greater risk.

Cancer statistics for women and non-white firefighters?

Due to their significantly lower participation in the fire service, there have been few studies on cancer among women and non-white firefighters. There’In addition, there’ll but a growing number of studies examining the health risks faced by female firefighters.

We’ll keep you updated on the progress of that study as it develops. According to CDC statistics from 2013, black males have the most excellent chance of developing prostate cancer overall (the most recent year for which data is available). 

The International Association of Black Professional Firefighters sends out an email newsletter to its members with prostate cancer prevention suggestions.

Is firefighter cancer statistics a concern?

Yes, When calculating the impact of occupational cancer on—and threat to—firefighters and their families, it’s vital to have correct data. Journalists, lawmakers, manufacturers, and others have recently made incorrect firefighter cancer claims based on outdated information, including the following bogus instances:

  • The risk of cancer among firefighters is 250% higher than in non-firefighters.
  • They have a 68% higher chance of being diagnosed with cancer than the typical population.
  • According to research, 68% of firefighters will develop cancer.


Firefighters suffer from different types of cancer at a greater rate than the general public, but the rates vary depending on the cancer. For example, the most common types of cancer among firefighters are skin cancer, brain cancer, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

As more research is conducted, we will better understand which cancers are most common among firefighters and how best to prevent them.

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