SILOAM SPRINGS, Ar. (KNWA) – Siloam Springs Fire Chief Jeremey Criner says this is the first year they’ve included an in-depth, full-body cancer screening to their annual physical.
Criner says ultrasound is done to check all parts of the body including the heart and liver.
He says it’s because firefighters have a higher risk of getting cancer due to the toxins in the smoke they’re exposed to when battling flames.
The latest statistics from the Firefighter Cancer Support Network show firefighters have a 9% higher risk of being diagnosed with cancer and a 14% higher risk of dying from cancer than other professions.
“Our goal with this proposition is to make sure we’re taking care of ourselves and so in the future, we do have the ability to continue to serve the community,” Criner said.
Criner says if anything abnormal is seen during the screening, the firefighter is referred to a specialist for further testing.