On October 15, 2021, the 43rd session of the Oversight Committee for the Fukushima Health Management Survey (FHMS) convened online and in Fukushima City, releasing a new set of results (data up to June 30, 2021) from the fourth and fifth rounds of the Thyroid Ultrasound Examination (TUE). The fifth-round data reported this time includes the confirmatory examination results. In addition, a corrected version of the results was released for the Age 25 Milestone Screening originally reported in July 2021.
The 43rd session was the first session of a new two-year term (August 2021-July 2023) for 18 committee members, including 6 new members. (Regrettably, a long-time committee member Fumiko Kasuga, who steadfastly advocated for release of more clinical information as well as inclusion of feedbacks from participants and their families, is no longer included.) A roster for the Thyroid Examination Evaluation Subcommittee was also released, but there was no change. It was revealed that there was no target date for the release of an interim summary for the third round.
At this time, an official English translation is available up to the 40th session of the Oversight Committee on the website for the Radiation Medical Science Center of the Fukushima Health Management Survey (RMSC/FHMS). The final results of the third round, released at the 39th session in August 2020, is finally available in English on pages 2-20 of this report.
- The fourth round: 3 new cases diagnosed as suspicious or malignant, and 2 new surgical cases.
- The fifth round: 3 new cases diagnosed as suspicious or malignant, and 1 new surgical case
- Total number of suspected/confirmed thyroid cancer has increased by 6 to 266: 116 in the first round (including a single case of benign tumor), 71 in the second round, 31 in the third round, 36 in the fourth round, 3 in the fifth round, and 9 in Age 25 Milestone Screening.
- Total number of surgically confirmed thyroid cancer cases has increased by 3 to 221 (101 in the first round, 55 in the second round, 29 in the third round, 29 in the fourth round, 1 in the fifth round, and 6 in Age 25 Milestone Screening,
For the still ongoing fourth round, originally scheduled from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2020, only 54 participated in the primary examination between April 2, 2021 and June 30, 2021, with an unchanged participation rate of 62.3%. (Note: This is still below what the prior rounds registered (81.7% for the first round, 71.0% for the second round, and 64.7% for the third round), although it is slowly approaching the third round.)
Below is the summary of the previous screening results for the suspected/confirmed thyroid cancer cases. This information, already mentioned above except for the second round, can be difficult to locate in print. In particular, a breakdown of the "A2" assessment is only verbally reported during the Oversight Committee sessions.
Definition"A1": no ultrasound findings."A2": ultrasound findings of nodules ≤ 5.0 mm and/or cysts ≤ 20.0 mm."B": ultrasound findings of nodules ≥ 5.1 mm and/or cysts ≥ 20.1 mm.
- Second round (71 cases): 33 cases with A1, 32 cases with A2 (7 nodules and 25 cysts), 5 cases with B, 1 case previously unexamined
- Third round (31 cases): 7 cases with A1, 14 cases with A2 (4 nodules and 10 cysts), 7 cases with B, 3 cases previously unexamined
- Fourth round (36 cases): 6 cases with A1, 19 cases with A2 (5 nodules, 13 cysts, and 1 nodule & cyst), 8 cases with B, 3 cases previously unexamined
- Age 25 Milestone Screening (9 cases): 1 case with A2 (nodule), 2 cases with B, 6 cases previously unexamined