Cancer Prevention

When firefighters embark on their careers, they are aware of many risks associated with the job, but the significant cancer risk often becomes apparent only after they’ve begun their duties. The Firefighter Cancer Support Network highlights that firefighters face much higher risks of specific cancers compared to the general population, including a doubled risk of mesothelioma and testicular cancer. Furthermore, firefighters are also at increased risk for nine other types of cancer.


  • Early detection is crucial, as evidenced by a study from the New England Journal of Medicine, which shows that the survival rate for lung cancer exceeds 90% if found in stage 1. Unfortunately, stage 1 cancers typically show no symptoms, making early detection challenging.
  • In contrast, stage IV lung cancer, characterized by multiple tumors and severe symptoms, has a survival rate of less than 1%.
  • To combat this, the GTFF implements a cancer prevention strategy by funding blood tests for protein biomarkers. These tests, conducted during annual firefighter physicals, serve as one of the most effective early indicators of cancer, potentially before it can be detected through traditional imaging.
  • This proactive approach not only aims to combat cancer early but also helps firefighters recover swiftly and return to their life-saving duties, with GTFF allocating over $100,000 annually towards these advanced cancer screenings.

Our Programs

Our Impact

Cancer Prevention

When firefighters sign up for their careers, they know many of the well published risks the career choice carries. However, few realize the extent of the cancer risk until well after they have started their careers.

Read More

Cardiac Wellness

Heart disease is a leading killer of firefighters. The Greater Tucson Fire Foundation has provided ultrasounds and other cardiac screening for at-risk firefighters.

Read More

Mental Health

A healthy mind is just as important as a physically fit body. Therefore, the foundation has worked to remove the barriers to receiving quality mental health care from culturally informed providers.

Read More

Peer Fitness and Injury Prevention

The Fire Foundation’s Peer Fitness and Injury Prevention Program support the physical health of our Firefighters. The Fire Foundation continues to provide fitness training and education for Firefighters throughout Southern Arizona.

Read More

Firefigheters Beyond Borders

Launched in 2013 by Greater Tucson Fire Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Patty Vallance (of blessed memory), the Firefighters Beyond Borders program connects our Firefighters in Arizona with the Firefighting community in Israel to support one another in times of need.

Read More

HERO Program

Hardship can strike at a moment’s notice, and firefighters are no different. That’s why we created the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome (HERO) program to lessen the economic impacts of acute medical hardship.

Read More

Useful External Links



Mental Health Providers

Fire Agencies

GTFF Archives

911 Sculptures


Subscribe Our Newsletter