NewsSarasota, Manatee County


'Cancer cluster' not linked to Bayshore High School, DOH-Manatee study finds

Campaign launched in 2017 after cancer concerns from alumni
Posted at 9:47 PM, Dec 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-03 23:20:52-05

BRADENTON, Fla. — A study launched to determine if Bayshore High School was the cause of many alumni getting cancer over a 30 year period has been completed.

The Florida Department of Health launched the study back in 2017.

At issue — did Bayshore High School buildings and grounds contribute to a possible "cancer cluster" spanning three decades?

The old Bayshore High School building was adjacent to where the current high school is located at 5401 34th Street W in Bradenton.

The study's findings, released on December 3, revealed no evidence of a "cancer cluster" associated with the high school.


In 2017, the Manatee Board of Commissioners and the School Board asked the DOH to lead the study. The DOH then launched a campaign to collect patient information from those who worked at or attended the old Bayshore High School building.

There were a total of 239 patient information forms received from the public between Dec. 1, 2017, and March 30, 2018.

“While no documented environmental exposure link could be found for the area of the old Bayshore High School,” the final report reads, “DOH proceeded to review data from the state cancer registry, the Florida Cancer Data System (FCDS), to address community concerns received by DOH in Manatee County.”

The data from the ZIP code 34210, which includes the old Bayshore High School, was reviewed for three different time periods: 1986-1995, 1996-2005 and 2006-2015. They also looked at eight different types of cancer — brain and other nervous systems, breast, colorectal, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney and renal pelvis, leukemia, prostate and thyroid.

For the time periods reviewed, the final report says "the number of observed cases versus expected cases was significantly lower in many instanced with regard to each type of cancer."

The DOH said the following:

“A cancer cluster is defined as a greater-than-expected number of cancer cases that occurs within a group of people in a defined geographic area over a specified period of time, When people learn that several friends, family members or neighbors have found out they have cancer, cancer clusters are often suspected. Cancer clusters are also sometimes suspected when people who work at the same place or have other factors in common get cancer.”