Cases of thyroid cancer up among Fukushima kids in 2nd screening: prefectural panel

FUKUSHIMA — In its second round of health exams for residents who were 18 years old or younger at the time of the March 2011 nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, 15 were confirmed to have thyroid cancer as of the end September this year, the prefectural government revealed Nov. 30.

This means that nine children who were not diagnosed as having thyroid cancer or suspected of having thyroid cancer in the first round were newly diagnosed with cancer. Moreover, the number of children suspected of having thyroid cancer went up by five in the second round, bringing the total number of suspected cancer cases to 24.

These results were revealed in a report compiled by a prefectural panel on the health effects of the nuclear disaster. “The dose of radiation exposure in the Fukushima crisis has been small compared to that in the Chernobyl disaster,” said panel chairman Hokuto Hoshi. “Based on the fact that no cases of cancer have been identified among children who were five or younger at the time of the meltdowns, it is hard to believe — as we have heretofore said — that the cancer was caused by radiation.”

The second round of screening began in April 2014, and as of the end of September this year, the test results of some 180,000 people of the approximately 380,000 people screened have been confirmed.

In the first round of screening, some 300,000 people of the 370,000 people who were eligible for testing had undergone tests as of late April 2015. Ninety-eight people had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in the previous announcement given at the end of June, but the number rose to 100 as of the end of September. Additionally, there are 13 suspected cases of thyroid cancer.

December 01, 2015 (Mainichi Japan)