New esophageal cancer screening test offered to Alabama firefighters

  • Source: WBMA-LD ABC 33/40 Birmingham
  • Published: 04/16/2024 12:00 AM

VIDEO: When we think of dangers to firefighters, it's the flames and burning buildings that come to mind. But there are dangers you don't see like the chemicals that can lead to esophageal and other cancers. New screening methods are helping catch the cancers earlier. Firefighters are exposed to hundreds of chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and asbestos. "Everyone knows somebody going through it. We have someone on duty right now working with cancer," said Steve Cook, President Birmingham Firefighters Association. Gases, vapors and particulates get on their skin, eyes and gear. Birmingham firefighters have a high call volume, more than anywhere in the state, leading to greater exposure to hazards. Eighty firefighters were recently screened at an event in the metro area for esophageal cancer. The one minute EsoGuard test is used to find precancerous cells in the esophagus.


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