The risk factors most linked to increased cancer rates include numerous modifiable factors. Knowing and making small changes can reduce cancer risks significantly. For example, quitting tobacco before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related diseases by 90%. Alcohol and tobacco consumption, obesity/diet, and sunlight exposure can all help mitigate (or worsen) a Member’s risk factors both on and off the job. Stress and sleep (or lack thereof) also play a factor.
Your occupational exposures cannot change, but you can adopt safer policies and habits to reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals. Off duty there are additional factors that can increase your risk of developing cancer. While some risk factors cannot be avoided, others can be modified to promote health. Knowing the risk and modifying lifestyles can in many ways provide a buffer to the occupational exposure fire fighters in various situations cannot be avoided.
The below thumbnail links to a PDF file of easy-to-implement things to help you stay healthy off the job (and thereby, too, on the job).