Representative James Murphy sponsored an amendment that will provide critical funding toward cancer screenings for firefighters. Working closely with the Professional Fire Fighters of Massachusetts, the legislature identified an urgent need to help address the troubling trend between cancer rates and firefighters.
The amendment which was passed through the House on Wednesday provides $100,000 for firefighter cancer screenings. The money will be administered by the fire marshal to municipal fire departments for the advanced screenings which include blood testing and imaging.
“We are forever indebted to these men and women who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe,” stated Representative Murphy. “In providing this preventative screening to municipal fire departments we are in some small part protecting our firefighters from harm’s way,” added Representative Murphy.
Dana Farber Cancer Institute published a health communication stating that due to a wide range of exposures on the job, firefighters are at increased risk of several kinds of cancer, including lung, gastrointestinal system, kidney, skin melanoma, prostate, and multiple myeloma, when compared to the general public. Cancer screening can help to identify cancer before a person has symptoms. Early detection may aid in identifying cancers before a firefighter develops symptoms and may make it easier to treat or cure the cancer.