CDC releases draft cancer cluster guidelines for public comment

Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 31, 2022
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

CDC/ATSDR has released a draft of its Guidelines for Examining Unusual Patterns of Cancer and Environmental Concerns for public comment. Comments are open through the Federal Register until July 25, 2022.

CDC/ATSDR conducted extensive scientific literature reviews and gathered comprehensive feedback from community stakeholders, subject matter experts, and state, tribal, local, and territorial partners. This feedback contributed to CDC/ATSDR:

  • Placing a greater emphasis on engaging and communicating with community members,
  • Recommending health departments consider proactive evaluation of cancer registry data at regular intervals to look for unusual patterns of cancer,
  • Replacing the steps in the 2013 Guidelines with new detailed criteria to:
    • address environmental concerns more broadly, and
    • de-emphasize statistical significance as the criterion for moving forward with evaluating potential exposures and cancer rates,
  • Identifying and developing tools and templates to support our public health partners when conducting these investigations.

CDC/ATSDR welcomes public comment on these guidelines. For more information about the guidelines and updates, visit Cancer Cluster Guidelines | CDC.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.