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 Registerexternal icon 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.

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Page last reviewed: May 31, 2022