Firefighters and cancer

Cancer is the leading cause of line-of-duty deaths among fire fighters today. 

As part of a mutual desire to help fire fighters and EMS personnel who are impacted by cancer, the American Cancer Society (ACS) and the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) are working together to fight cancer in the fire service.

The IAFF-ACS collaboration will provide new resources, tools and prevention techniques to help protect fire fighters with the hope of preventing future disease, while providing critical patient support services across the country to improve the quality of life for fire fighters living with cancer and advocating for improved access to care.

Cancer Screening and Prevention Resources


Cancer screening tests are used before a person has any symptoms to help find cancer early, when it may be easier to treat. Regular screening tests can help find and treat certain types of precancers and cancers early before they have a chance to spread. There is no sure way to prevent cancer, but there are things a person can do to help lower their risk. The resources below outline recommendations for cancer screenings that can help find cancer early and lifestyle choices that can help reduce the risk of cancer.

Cancer Support Resources


A cancer diagnosis impacts not only the person diagnosed, but also partners, family members, friends, and your brothers and sisters at the station. Below are various resources available to assist those who want information about cancer, those diagnosed with cancer, and family members or caregivers who are supporting a person diagnosed with cancer.

ACS National Cancer Information Center – IAFF Helpline
The American Cancer Society National Cancer Information Center (NCIC) is available 24/7 to provide guidance to IAFF members and answers questions through phone, video calls and online live chat. Services are provided via the IAFF helpline in English, Spanish and more than 200 other languages through a translation service. NCIC utilizes trained cancer information specialists to assist those who are not diagnosed with cancer, who have just been diagnosed, are in current treatment or are caring for someone with cancer.

To connect:

      • Phone: Call the 24/7 IAFF-specific helpline at (877) 901-7848
      • Video Chat: You will need a computer, smartphone or tablet with a webcam and an internet connection. Video chat services are done by appointment. To schedule a video chat, visit cancer.org/videochat.
      • Online Live Chat: Go to cancer.org and select the “live chat” link.

ACS’s NCIC team is trained to:

      • Assist questions from cancer-free people seeking information on cancer screening and prevention.
      • Provide the latest information on cancer information and research
      • Help individuals navigate health insurance-related problems by identifying insurance coverage options for which they might be eligible.
      • Provide information on Hope Lodge® communities, which provide free lodging for people needing to travel away from home for treatment.
      • Prepare people with cancer for conversations with their healthcare team so they can feel more confident in communicating their needs and asking questions.
      • Refer patients to educational and emotional support resources (oncology nurses are available for more complex situations).
      • Connect callers with resources like the online Personal Health Manager.
      • Connect those with shared experiences through online peer support resources like Reach To Recovery, for those facing breast cancer, and the Cancer Survivors Network, an online community created by and for people with cancer and their caregivers.
      • Provide guidance around talking to loved ones about their disease and how cancer can impact their lives.
      • Connect callers with caregiver resources like our video support series and the Caregiver Resource Guide.

ACS Hope Lodge

When effective cancer treatment may be in another city, ACS’s Hope Lodges offers cancer patients and their caregivers a free place to stay. Hope Lodge provides a nurturing, home-like environment where guests can retreat to private rooms or connect with others. Every Hope Lodge also offers a variety of resources and information about cancer and how best to fight the disease. Currently, there are more than 30 Hope Lodge locations throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. Accommodations and eligibility requirements may vary by location. Please call the American Cancer Society at 1 (800) 227-2345 for more information or visit the webpage.


Cancer Survivors Network
Cancer Survivors NetworkSM (CSN) is a safe, online community where survivors and caregivers share their stories, ask questions and get support from each other. With a chatroom and over 40 discussion boards, CSN allows you to connect with others who have a similar cancer experience. CSN members can also send private messages to other members, build their own support network, post blogs and more. To register for a free CSN account, visit csn.cancer.org.


Reach To Recovery
Through the American Cancer Society Reach To Recovery program, you can connect online with a trained volunteer who has survived breast cancer and understands what you are going through. Volunteers provide one-on-one support to help those facing breast cancer to cope with diagnosis, treatment, side effects, talking with friends and family, and more. On the Reach To Recovery website (reach.cancer.org) and mobile app (ACS Reach To Recovery), you can create an online profile and match with a volunteer who has experienced a similar type of breast cancer, stage and treatment.


Tender Loving Care
The American Cancer Society’s “tlc” Tender Loving Care® program helps women with appearance-related side effects by offering a variety of affordable wigs, hats and scarves as well as a full range of mastectomy products. You can purchase hair-loss and mastectomy products from the privacy of your own home by visiting tlcdirect.org or items can also be purchased by calling 1 (800) 850-9445.

Behavioral Health Resources


A cancer diagnosis impacts all areas of a person’s health, including behavioral health. Fire fighters coping with cancer may experience a broad range of emotions, thoughts and behavioral reactions. As an IAFF member, you do not have to face cancer alone. Below are behavioral health resources designed for fire fighters coping with cancer.

Nutrition


Following a healthy eating pattern throughout life can help reduce the risk of several types of cancer. These resources highlight tips for incorporating choices and changes to help achieve or maintain a healthy diet.

Active Lifestyle


Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of several cancers; can help reduce cancer-related symptoms such as fatigue, anxiety and depression; and helps improve overall physical function, bone health and quality of sleep. Oncology experts now view regular physical activity as critical to both help prevent certain types of cancer and help best meet the needs of people living with cancer. These resources aim to share strategies and practical tips to help ANYONE become more physically active, while also serving as a resource to highlight the latest physical activity recommendations to help reduce cancer risk and manage cancer symptoms.

Canadian Cancer Society Resources

Resources in French can be found below.


The Canadian Cancer Society offers a nationwide support system for people with cancer and their family, friends and caregivers. We’re here to help answer your questions and support you whether you’re newly diagnosed, caring for a loved one or concerned about your own cancer risk. Access our free programs and services that can help you manage life with cancer, including our information resources, our helpline, our supportive online community and much more.


Cancer Screening and Prevention Resources

While there is evidence of increased cancer risk from the occupation of firefighting, there’s a lot you can do to help protect your health. Learn simple ways to make healthy choices and informed decisions to reduce your risk of cancer. Plus, find out when you should see a doctor and when you should be screened for specific cancers.


CCS Helpline

Cancer can be difficult to understand and coping with it can be stressful. It can help to talk to someone you can trust to give you current, reliable information. Our Cancer Information Helpline is a national, toll-free service for people with cancer, their caregivers, their families and their friends, as well as the general public and healthcare professionals. We’ll take all the time you need to answer your questions and give you information about:

    • Cancer treatment and side effects
    • Clinical trials
    • Coping with cancer
    • Emotional support services
    • Prevention
    • Help in the community
    • Complementary therapies

Our service is available Monday to Friday in English and French. For other languages, we can access an interpreter service. To connect:

    • Online live chat: Visit cancer.ca (cancer.ca/fr for French) to live chat with an information specialist.
    • Phone: Call us toll-free at 1-888-939-3333 (TTY 1-866-786-3934).
    • Email: Send a quick email through our contact form.

CancerConnection.ca

No one should have to face cancer alone. Connecting with others who understand your situation and how you feel can help you cope. Knowing what to expect throughout your cancer journey can help you feel more hopeful and less anxious.

CancerConnection.ca is a safe and welcoming place for discussion, support and the exchange of information about managing cancer in your life. It allows people to share their experiences and build supportive relationships. CancerConnection.ca community members take part in discussions, write their own blogs, join groups and exchange messages offering emotional support and practical advice.

Membership in this community is free and open to people 18 years of age and older. To sign up, simply visit CancerConnection.ca.


Accommodation

Our lodges are welcoming homes away from home for people with cancer who need to travel to receive treatment. Our caring staff and volunteers are trained to help meet your practical needs during cancer treatment. The lodges also offer social and emotional support through different programs and activities. They are places where you can meet other people with cancer and their families, who understand what you are going through.

Each lodge has unique amenities and services available. Visit cancer.ca (cancer.ca/fr for French) to find a lodge in British Columbia, Newfoundland, Quebec or Nova Scotia, or a place to stay elsewhere in Canada.


Get Help to Quit Smoking

Ready to quit? Or thinking about it? Tried to quit a few times and worried you won’t stay tobacco-free for good? We are here to help.

The Canadian Cancer Society offers information, tools and a support community to help you quit and stay quit. Our free and confidential services offer support and information about quitting smoking and tobacco use. We can help you develop a personal quit plan and refer you to programs and services in your community. And if you want to support someone who’s trying to quit, we can give you tips on how to help.

Visit cancer.ca (cancer.ca/fr for French) to check out the programs available in your area.


Order a Wig

All Canadians, no matter where they live, can access free wigs with just a simple call. A member of our team will discuss your wig or headwear requirements and preferences, and then do their best to find a match. They will arrange delivery or curbside pick-up, depending on your location. All staff and volunteers have been trained in enhanced cleaning and hygiene to make sure wigs are delivered in their cleanest state.

This service is available for free across Canada to people who cannot afford the cost of a wig.

Order by phone toll-free: (888) 939-3333

Ressources de la Société canadienne du cancer


La Société canadienne du cancer offre un réseau d’aide à l’échelle nationale aux personnes atteintes de cancer ainsi qu’à leurs familles, leurs amis et leurs proches aidants. Nous sommes là pour vous aider à trouver des réponses à vos questions et pour vous soutenir, que vous veniez tout juste de recevoir un diagnostic, que vous preniez soin d’un être cher ou que vous ayez des préoccupations quant à votre risque personnel de cancer. N’hésitez pas à vous prévaloir de nos programmes et services gratuits qui pourront vous aider à vivre avec le cancer, notamment nos ressources d’information, notre ligne téléphonique d’aide, notre communauté de soutien en ligne et bien plus encore.


Ressources pour le dépistage et la prévention du cancer

Même si les données scientifiques font état d’un risque accru de cancer associé au métier de pompier, vous pouvez agir pour protéger votre santé. Découvrez des moyens simples de faire des choix sains et de prendre des décisions éclairées pour réduire votre risque de cancer. Sachez également à quel moment consulter ou passer un test de dépistage pour certains cancers spécifiques.


Ligne d’aide et d’information sur le cancer

Comprendre le cancer n’est pas chose facile et faire face à la maladie peut occasionner du stress. Il est bon de savoir que vous pouvez parler à une personne de confiance, en mesure de vous fournir des renseignements fiables et à jour. Notre Ligne d’aide et d’information sur le cancer est un service national et gratuit à l’intention des personnes atteintes de cancer, de leurs aidants, famille et amis, ainsi que du grand public et des professionnels de la santé. Nous prendrons tout le temps qu’il faut pour répondre à vos questions et vous fournir de l’information sur :

    • les traitements contre le cancer et leurs effets secondaires;
    • les essais cliniques;
    • les moyens de faire face au cancer;
    • les services de soutien psychosocial;
    • la prévention;
    • l’aide disponible au sein de la communauté;
    • les thérapies complémentaires.

Notre service est offert du lundi au vendredi en français et en anglais. Nous avons accès à des services d’interprètes pour les questions formulées dans d’autres langues.

Pour nous joindre :

    • Dialogue en ligne : Clavardez en direct avec un spécialiste en information.
    • Téléphone : Appelez-nous sans frais au 1 888 939-3333 (ATS 1 866 786-3934).
    • Courriel : Envoyez-nous un courriel au moyen de notre formulaire de contact.

ParlonsCancer.ca

Personne ne devrait avoir à affronter le cancer seul. Le fait d’entrer en contact avec des gens qui comprennent ce que vous vivez et ressentez peut vous aider à mieux composer avec la maladie. Lorsqu’on sait à quoi s’attendre tout au long d’une expérience de cancer, on est souvent plus optimiste et moins anxieux. ParlonsCancer.ca est un lieu accueillant et sans risque où vous pouvez discuter, obtenir du soutien et échanger de l’information pour mieux faire face au cancer. Vous pouvez y partager vos expériences et créer un réseau de soutien. Les membres de la communauté ParlonsCancer.ca peuvent prendre part à des discussions, tenir un blogue personnel, faire partie de groupes, ou encore échanger des messages d’encouragement et des renseignements pratiques.

La participation à ParlonsCancer.ca est tout à fait gratuite et s’adresse aux personnes de 18 ans et plus. Il suffit de se rendre sur le site ParlonsCancer.ca, de s’inscrire et de créer un profil.


Hébergement

Nos maisons d’hébergement sont des seconds chez-soi accueillants pour les personnes atteintes d’un cancer qui doivent se déplacer afin de recevoir leur traitement. Nos employés et bénévoles attentionnés sont formés pour répondre à vos besoins pratiques pendant votre traitement du cancer. Nos maisons offrent également un soutien social et émotionnel dans le cadre de différents programmes et activités. Ce sont des endroits où vous pouvez rencontrer d’autres personnes atteintes de cancer et leurs familles, qui comprennent ce que vous vivez.

Chaque maison d’hébergement propose des commodités et des services spécifiques. Visitez cancer.ca pour trouver une maison d’hébergement en Colombie-Britannique, à Terre-Neuve, au Québec ou en Nouvelle-Écosse, ou un endroit où loger ailleurs au Canada.


Obtenez de l’aide pour cesser de fumer

Vous êtes prêt à arrêter? Ou vous y songez? Vous avez essayé de le faire à quelques reprises et vous craignez de ne pouvoir réussir une fois pour toutes? Nous sommes là pour vous aider.

La Société canadienne du cancer offre de l’information, des outils et diverses formes de soutien pour vous aider à arrêter pour de bon. Nous vous offrons du soutien et de l’information sur l’abandon du tabac et l’usage du tabac. Nous pouvons vous aider à élaborer un plan personnalisé d’arrêt tabagique et vous diriger vers les programmes et services offerts dans votre communauté. Et si vous souhaitez aider quelqu’un qui veut cesser de fumer, nous pouvons vous offrir des conseils afin que vous puissiez mieux épauler votre proche. Pour connaître les services offerts dans votre province, visitez www.cancer.ca/ressourcesj’arrête.


Commandez une prothèse capillaire

Tous les Canadiens, peu importe où ils vivent, peuvent avoir accès gratuitement à des prothèses capillaires au moyen d’un simple appel ou d’un simple clic.

Un membre de notre équipe discutera de vos exigences et préférences en matière de prothèse capillaire ou de couvre-tête, puis fera de son mieux pour trouver ce qui vous convient. On organisera la livraison ou la collecte en bordure de rue en fonction de votre emplacement. Tous les employés et bénévoles ont suivi une formation en matière de nettoyage et d’hygiène afin de s’assurer que les prothèses capillaires sont livrées dans des conditions de propreté optimales.

Ce service est offert gratuitement partout au Canada aux personnes qui ne sont pas en mesure de faire l’achat d’une prothèse capillaire.

Commandez par téléphone sans frais au 1 888 939-3333.

Get Involved


The American Cancer Society (ACS), in collaboration with the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), welcomes IAFF members and the public to get involved throughout the year to support this collaboration. Below are ways you can get involved to raise funds and awareness in the fight against cancer.

Donations to the American Cancer Society, in collaboration with the International Association of Fire Fighters, will support a variety of ACS-offered patient support services and education for fire fighters and their families, as well as explore research projects centered around cause, diagnosis, treatment and survivorship of cancer, healthy eating and active lifestyle, and health equity that affect occupational cancer, including in the fire service.

To discuss additional ways to get involved with the American Cancer Society through the IAFF collaboration, please click here.

The American Cancer Society is on a mission to free the world from cancer.

Donate now to fund cancer research, education, advocacy and patient and family services.