Cancer among Indiana Firefighters: Case-Control Studies

Grant Number

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Award Number EMW-2018-FP-00562
PI: Steven M. Moffatt, M.D.
Period of Performance: 09/20/2019 – 09/19/2023


Firefighting involves exposure to carcinogens, which can cause or promote cancer. Studies have consistently shown an association between firefighting and increased risk of cancer incidence and mortality. Previous studies among firefighters did not provide detailed information on occupational, medical, and lifestyle exposures. As a result, there is a lack of evidence-based knowledge on firefighters’ risk of the development of occupational cancer. This study will identify the prevalence and factors associated with the risk of cancer among career and volunteer firefighters.


This is a case-control study among Indiana firefighters. The study utilizes the fire service department and medical records, a questionnaire, and blood tests to identify: 1) occupational, 2) medical, and 3) lifestyle factors statistically associated with cancer incidence and mortality among Indiana firefighters.


The study will identify the occupational exposures and risks associated with the development of cancer incidence and mortality in both career and volunteer firefighters. This evidence-based information will be utilized to inform the Indiana fire service department how to better prevent the occupation-associated risk of cancers among firefighters.


  1. Lidoriki I, Sotos-Prieto M, Smith DL, Kales SN. Firefighting-Associated Cancers: Can Healthier Body Weight and Eating be Potential Countermeasures? Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2019; 61: e69-e71.
  2. Smith DL, Matias A, Bode ED, Korre M, Lidoriki I, Sotos-Prieto M, Kales SN. Firefighting-Associate Cancers: Can Increased Physical Activity and Improved Cardiorespiratory Fitness be Potential Countermeasures? J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Apr 8. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002217.
  3. Sidossis, A., Lan, F.-Y., Hershey, M.S., Hadkhale, K., & Kales, S.N. (April 2023). Cancer and potential prevention with lifestyle among career firefighters: A narrative review. Cancers, 15(9), 2442.