Incidences of Thyroid Cancer on the Rise among Fukushima Children

ASIA--PACIFIC, 26 Aug 2013

Jessica Kozuka – Japan Today

The number of under-18s in Fukushima Prefecture diagnosed with thyroid cancer has increased to 12, while the number of possible cases has reached 15, according to Kolnet, an online media source focused on the Tohoku region of Japan.

The numbers were released as part of an ongoing investigation by the Fukushima Prefecture Board of Health into the effects of the radiation released in the explosion at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in 2011. The investigation has examined about 174,000 adults and children from towns surrounding the crippled plant.

In the last report, made in February, there were only three confirmed cases of thyroid cancer and seven suspected cases.

According to a representative of Fukushima Medical University, which has been running the tests, they cannot conclusively link the incidences to Fukushima Daiichi, because although there were confirmed cases of cancer linked to the Chernobyl incident, many of these did not present until four or five years after or even later.

Some have pointed out that comparisons to the Chernobyl incident may not be particularly enlightening anyway, as intensive medical examinations into children exposed didn’t even begin until years after. Additionally, compared with that of Chernobyl, the population in Fukushima was exposed to less radiation, had more iodine in their diet, and had access to iodine prophylaxis, so the negative impact is expected to be much less.

However, according to one study that might be a more useful comparison, of 250 schoolchildren examined in Nagasaki in 2000, only 0.8% of them had thyroid nodules, of which none were found to be malignant. Additionally, the incidence of thyroid cancer in the general population is just one or two in 12 million children.

This suggests the numbers in Fukushima may already be high, and some experts believe they are even higher than the Board of Health investigation has claimed due to weaknesses in their methodology, such as not accounting for migration and not bringing children with small nodules in to be reexamined.

Source: Kolnet

Go to Original –


Share this article:

DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.