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NCFPD offers cancer screening for personnel

FALLBROOK – Cancer is the most dangerous, under-recognized threat to the health and safety of firefighters in the U.S. To combat this, the North County Fire Protection District is offering a multi-cancer screening for its active fire service personnel.

Firefighters are exposed to a wide variety of hazardous scenarios where carcinogens are nearly unavoidable. So, NCFPD started administering this screening three years ago and was the first fire service agency within San Diego County to offer this vital health service to its active-duty members.

Since then, several agencies have followed suit, Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District and Vista Fire Department to name a few.

In collaboration with the NCFPD and the Grail company, an industry leader in cancer prevention diagnostics, active-duty firefighters are offered a Galleri test. This state-of-the-art test utilizes a simple blood draw to identify cancer signals in the body.

Through the voluntary testing, NCFPD aims to detect up to 50 types of cancer in its early stages, especially for those individuals who are at an elevated risk. The Galleri test not only detects active cancer signals, but it also has the potential to pinpoint their location within the body.

Fire Chief Keith McReynolds said, "When diagnosed early, the 5-year cancer-related survival rate of some cancers is 4x higher than when diagnosed in later stages. One of our primary responsibilities in the fire service is to save lives, that includes the lives of our own firefighters."

Cancer is the number one cause of line of duty deaths according to the International Association of Firefighters. The Galleri test is designed to aid in early detection and enhance the efficacy of common screening tests as advised by healthcare professionals.

Submitted by North County Fire Protection District.

 

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