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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 832573, 8 pages
Research Article

Clusters of Adolescent and Young Adult Thyroid Cancer in Florida Counties

1Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of West Florida, Pensacola, FL 32514, USA
2Florida State University College of Medicine, P.O. Box 33655, Pensacola, FL 32508, USA

Received 7 February 2014; Accepted 10 April 2014; Published 28 April 2014

Academic Editor: Handan Wand

Copyright © 2014 Raid Amin and James J. Burns. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Thyroid cancer is a common cancer in adolescents and young adults ranking 4th in frequency. Thyroid cancer has captured the interest of epidemiologists because of its strong association to environmental factors. The goal of this study is to identify thyroid cancer clusters in Florida for the period 2000–2008. This will guide further discovery of potential risk factors within areas of the cluster compared to areas not in cluster. Methods. Thyroid cancer cases for ages 15–39 were obtained from the Florida Cancer Data System. Next, using the purely spatial Poisson analysis function in SaTScan, the geographic distribution of thyroid cancer cases by county was assessed for clusters. The reference population was obtained from the Census Bureau 2010, which enabled controlling for population age, sex, and race. Results. Two statistically significant clusters of thyroid cancer clusters were found in Florida: one in southern Florida (SF) (relative risk of 1.26; value of <0.001) and the other in northwestern Florida (NWF) (relative risk of 1.71; value of 0.012). These clusters persisted after controlling for demographics including sex, age, race. Conclusion. In summary, we found evidence of thyroid cancer clustering in South Florida and North West Florida for adolescents and young adult.