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Firefighting link to PC?

sarah t

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My father has recently been diagnosed with PC, he will be seeing a team next week to discuss prognosis and treatment.

He has been a firefighter since the late 70s. One of his long time colleuges had mentioned to me that, in the past few years, 4 long-time firefighters, who were on the same shift for many years with my dad, have past from cancer. They were/are all in their late 50s and early 60's when they were diagnosed. We were wondering if there is some sort of link between the profession in general or even if they were all at one particular fire that triggered it.

I am just curious if any forum members or their diagnosed loved ones had been firefighters.

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Dear Sara,

So very sorry to hear about your father's diagnosis. This is certainly a very supportive website and I hope you will get lots of information from the other members and also from the very helpful Support staff in the office (tel: 020 3535 7099 or email support@pancreaticcancer.org.uk).

It is interesting that there might be a link with firefighting, certainly everything is possible with this horrible illness.

I wish you much courage, we are here for you!


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Support Team

Dear Sarah,

I am sorry to hear that you father has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I have carried out a bit of searching into any link between pancreatic cancer and the fire fighting profession.

I found a UK report which looks at the occupational health risks for firefighters. This report reviewed a number of research papers looking at the link between cancers and fire fighting and the report concluded that there was no meaningful difference between firefighters and the general population in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. However, the pieces of research they looked at did vary in their findings with some pieces of research finding and association and others not seeing any association. The resport does show an association between fire fighting and some other types of cancer. Here is a link the report http://iiac.independent.gov.uk/pdf/occu-health-risk-in-firefighters.pdf

I hope that you have a helpful meeting with the treatment team.

Kind regards


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I am so sorry to hear about your fathers diagnosis of PC.

On a visit to hospital with my Husband for his regular treatment I was

speaking to a very nice man who was a firefighter and he was

diagnosed with lung cancer, he said he had never smoked but was

a passive smoker in the mess room. He also mentioned that they

had to deal with asbestos which could have been a factor as other

firefighters had contracted cancer too.

Good luck with your Dads meeting.

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