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SF Fire Department sees spike in breast cancer rate

Officials said 15 percent of the female firefighters between 40 and 50 years old have been diagnosed with breast cancer


By FireRescue1 Staff

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Fire Department officials said they are seeing their female firefighters diagnosed with breast cancer at an alarming rate.

NBC Bay Area reported that the department has the most female firefighters in the country, with 16 percent of their firefighters being female.

Fifteen percent of the department’s female firefighters between the age of 40 and 50 years old have been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is six times the national average.

“Cancer is a concern for the San Francisco Fire Department as well as the fire service nationwide. But in San Francisco, we have seen and we do have numbers of elevated cancer rates for male and female firefighters,” Jeanine Nicholson, deputy chief of administration for the department, said.

More than 250 firefighters from the department, both active and retired, have died of cancer in the last 10 years.