Cancer Cluster Information

Cancer Cluster Concerns in Indiana

The term cancer cluster is used in several ways, with slightly different meanings. The official definition used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Cancer Institute, and other public health institutions is “a greater than expected number of cancer cases that occurs within a group of people in a geographic area over a defined period of time.” Until all of these parameters are met, the group of cancer cases is often referred to as a suspected cancer cluster.

Worries about suspected cancer clusters typically begin when people notice that several relatives, friends, neighbors, and/or co-workers have been diagnosed with cancer. While most of the suspected cancer concerns are not considered cancer clusters, when reported, each inquiry is assessed using all the tools available to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) and investigated through a systematic process as outlined by Guidelines for the Management of Inquiries Related to Cancer Concerns or Suspected Cancer Clusters in Indiana.

The ISDH thoroughly investigates all suspected cancer cluster concerns reported by the public and coordinates internal and external examination with local, state, and federal experts from environmental management, academia, medical oncology, and public health (as needed). All investigations proceed in collaboration with local health departments.

Information for Hoosiers

Please read this first if you are concerned about a suspected cancer cluster in Indiana.

Instructions on how to officially report a suspected cancer cluster in Indiana.

Additional Resources

Cancer Resources