Athens-Clarke County Firefighters Receive Important Cancer Screening

Staff Report

Thursday, March 23rd, 2023

On March 16-18, 2023, Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services members and retirees were offered a complimentary screening for esophageal cancer through a local surgeon, Dr. Eric Bour. Dr. Bour is a surgeon from Piedmont Physicians - Surgical Specialists Athens, whose special interests include Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Hiatal and Paraesophageal Hernia Repair, and surgical diseases of the intestinal tract.

Dr. Bour, a medical team from Piedmont Athens Regional Medical Center, and a medical team from Lucid Diagnostics performed free screenings for esophageal cancer to our firefighters, who are not only at risk of increased physical dangers in the performance of their jobs, but also have an increased occupational risk for certain types of cancers. Firefighters have a 62 percent higher risk of getting esophageal cancer, and they have a 39 percent increased risk of dying from esophageal cancer, according to a 2013 National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) study.  

The firefighters from Athens-Clarke County Fire and Emergency Services were grateful for the opportunity to get screened while remaining on duty and ready for emergency response. The flexibility and coordination of the screening team made this all possible. We would also like to acknowledge the collaborative teamwork of the Athens-Clarke County Human Resources Department, Wellness Team, Safety and Risk Department, Attorney’s Office, and the Manager’s Office. “This brief, but meaningful event has the potential to help save lives,” said Battalion Chief Nate Moss. “And the efforts to bring this to the firefighters of Athens-Clarke County will not be soon forgotten.”

For more information about the EsoGuard™ DNA test by Lucid Diagnostics, visit