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Fukushima Thyroid Examination September 2016: 135 Thyroid Cancer Cases Confirmed (101 in the First Round and 34 in the Second Round)

135 Thyroid cancer cases confirmed in Fukushima as of June 30, 2016--101 in the first round and 34 in the second round (Total of 174 cases including suspected cancer cases--115 in the first round and 59 in the second round).


The 24th Prefectural Oversight Committee for Fukushima Health Management Survey convened in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Wednesday, September 14, 2016. 

Among other information, the Oversight Committee released the latest results (as of June 30, 2016) of the second round screening, which was conducted over a two-year period from April 2014 to March 2016. The second round screening is still ongoing in terms of the confirmatory examination, so the results are not complete.

An official English translation of the results is available here. The narrative below contains some information gathered from the live webcast of the Oversight Committee meeting and the subsequent press conference. 

Overview
As of June 30, 2016, there are 2 more cases with malignancy or sus…

【Thyroid Cancer in Fukushima】Fukushima Thyroid Examination Under Dual Review

Below is unofficial translation of two Fukushima Minyu articles regarding the review of the thyroid examination, published on August 8, 2016 (archived here) and July 4, 2016 (archived here). The August article is based on an interview of Hokuto Hoshi, Chair of Oversight Committee for the Fukushima Health Management Survey. It might be tied to this post. The July article covers the launch of an independent exploratory committee by Fukushima Pediatric Association. 

Interestingly, a telephone inquiry by a concerned citizen revealed the Division of the Fukushima Health Management Survey at the Fukushima Prefectural Office was unaware of the content of the August article before its publication in newspaper. They declined to comment on the issue for the time being while contacting Oversight Committee Chair Hoshi to confirm facts and discuss the issue internally.

On September 26-27, 2016, the 5th International Expert Symposium “Chernobyl+30, Fukushima+5: Lessons and Solutions for Fukushima’s T…

【Thyroid Cancer in Fukushima】How the Thyroid Examination Should Be: “Respecting a Wish Not to Participate in the Examination”

On June 15, 2016, Fukushima Minyu, one of the major regional newspapers in Fukushima Prefecture, published an article featuring Sanae Midorikawa, M.D., Ph.D., an endocrinologist who has been making school visits in Fukushima Prefecture to educate children regarding the thyroid examination they participate in. Midorikawa is also an associate professor in the Radiation Health Management at Fukushima Medical University and tasked with communication with residents. (Note: the article has been deleted from the Fukushima Minyu website. See the archived version).

The article (archived here) describes how Midorikawa is "accommodating" wishes of those children who do not want to participate in the thyroid examination that might lead to "unreasonable diagnosis of thyroid cancer." The "unreasonableness" is apparently based on the opinion of Fukushima Medical University that the thyroid cancer cases found during the first 4 years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear po…

Fukushima Thyroid Examination June 2016: 57 Cases Suspicious or Confirmed of Thyroid Cancer in the Second Round Screening

131 Thyroid cancer cases confirmed in Fukushima as of March 31, 2016--101 in the first round and 30 in the second round (Total of 172 cases including suspected cancer cases--115 in the first round and 57 in the second round).


The 23rd Prefectural Oversight Committee for Fukushima Health Management Survey convened in Fukushima City, Fukushima Prefecture, on Monday, June 6, 2016. 

Among other information, the Oversight Committee released the latest results (March 31, 2016) of the Full-Scale thyroid examination, or the second round screening, which was conducted over a two-year period from April 2014 to March 2016. The second round screening is essentially ongoing in terms of the confirmatory examination, so the results are not complete.

For the Initial (Preliminary Baseline) Screening, or the first round screening, the updated, corrected version of the results was released. 

There has been no updated information on clinicopathological details of the surgical cases since August 2015 that sho…

"Strict" Management of the Fukushima Health Management Survey Data by Fukushima Medical University

The Interim Report released in March 2016 by the Oversight Committee for Fukushima Health Management Survey called for the need to establish the rules of management and provision of the data so it can be widely utilized by domestic and international experts. Accordingly, the Subcommittee to Review Provision of Data for the Purpose of Academic Research met in Fukushima City, Fukushima, for the first time on May 31, 2016. Subcommittee members were selected by the Fukushima prefectural government in order to address the role of the subcommittee in establishing technical rules in provision of data and include specialists in epidemiology, information technology, law, and legal sociology. Also included are members of the Oversight Committee for Fukushima Health Management Survey, Shoichiro Tsugane and Hokuto Hoshi, and the Health Survey Support Department Head and the Department of Epidemiology Chair at Fukushima Medical University, Tetsuya Ohira, representing the Fukushima Health Managemen…

Response to the Chicago Tribune Editorial "The children of Fukushima: When medical tests mislead"

The following is a letter to the Editor for the Chicago Tribune editorial, "The children of Fukushima: When medical tests mislead." The letter was submitted through the online form on April 19, 2016, but there has been no response from Chicago Tribune. (Brevity of the content is due to the 400-word limit for letters).

*****

Dear Editor,

The March 25, 2016 Chicago Tribune editorial, “The children of Fukushima: When medical tests mislead” is misleading on its own regarding the childhood thyroid cancer situation in Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.

Differences in cancer rates by distance from the accident site and contamination levels may not be obvious, but an epidemiological analysis by Tsuda et al. (http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2016/05000/The_Authors_Respond.37.aspx) found a dose response tendency with proximity to the accident site after adjusting for the length of time between the accident and the time of screening. It is also important to remember only 1,080 children ha…