Lawrence firefighters receive free cancer screening


The City of Lawrence recently teamed up with Community Health Network and GRAIL, developer of the Galleri cancer screening test, to provide testing for all Lawrence Fire Department firefighters. 

The National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety at the Centers for Disease Control reports that cancer is a leading cause of death for firefighters, according to an announcement from the City of Lawrence. 

“Mounting research suggests firefighters are at greater risk for developing certain types of cancers and are at 14 percent greater risk of dying a cancer-related death than the general population,” the announcement stated. “Much of that risk is related to the wide variety of hazardous substances firefighters encounter while battling a blaze, when a fire’s searing temperatures can turn otherwise benign objects into sources of carcinogenic gasses, vapors and particulates.” 

The Galleri test from health care company GRAIL is a blood test designed to detect more than 50 types of cancer in the early stages, allowing fire departments to take a proactive approach to safeguarding firefighters’ health. 

“Our firefighters selflessly protect our community, often at great personal risk,” LFD Chief Bob Wallace stated. “Providing them access to advanced cancer screening technology like the Galleri test is crucial in ensuring their wellbeing and enabling early intervention.”

About 90 percent of the city’s firefighters opted to take part in the voluntary screening.  

“This not only addresses the unique health risks faced by firefighters but also showcases the power of partnerships in improving health outcomes,” stated Patrick McGill, Chief Transformation Officer for Community Health Network. 

For more information about the Galleri test, visit