Research Letter Examines Firefighters and Skin Cancer Risk


What: Report of survey data collected from firefighters about skin cancer

Why: To examine skin cancer history, skin cancer screening and sun protection habits among active Florida firefighters

Why This Is Interesting: Research on risk factors and occupational hazards related to skin cancer in firefighters is limited.

Results: Overall, 109 cases of skin cancer were reported among 2,399 firefighters (4.5 percent) who completed the survey; 17 firefighters had melanoma (0.7 percent), a higher frequency compared with that of melanoma in Florida adults reported in other epidemiologic studies (0.011 percent). Firefighters were diagnosed with melanoma at a younger age compared with the general U.S. population.

Authors: Alberto J. Caban-Martinez, D.O., Ph.D., M.P.H., of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and coauthors

Conclusions: More research is need to understand skin cancer risk among firefighters and to identify possible occupational hazards that may be associated with that risk, although non-work-related sun exposure may be a contributing factor.dia website.