Last year, the State of Florida has provided the University of Miami’s Sylvester Cancer Center $1 million in funding to better understand why firefighters may face a higher risk of cancer and find ways to improve their health and safety. Researchers enrolled firefighters from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue and Palm Beach Counties in the Firefighter Cancer Initiative study. Since that launch date, the partnership has grown to include Broward County, the City of Miami and all Palm Beach County Fire Rescue Departments.
Last month, the state provided an additional $1.5 million in funding to expand the study to include Martin, Orange, and Hillsborough counties. Researchers have also initiated an education campaign to increase awareness about prevention and early detection and Sylvester researchers have launched a pilot program, Determining Occupational Uncertainty in Sources and Exposures (DOUSE), to collect breath and skin samples before and after a work shift.