As with some of the previous committee meetings, thyroid cancer information was apparently leaked to the media the day before the 17th Prefectural Oversight Committee Meeting for Fukushima Health Management Survey, scheduled for December 25, 2014. Since the English edition of the Kyodo news article contained very little information, just as the online Japanese news articles, all based on the same Kyodo post, the paper edition of the Fukushima Minyu post was transcribed and translated as below. (See below the translation for the actual images of the post in the paper edition).
From the December 24, 2014 article in the paper edition of Fukushima Minyu. (The online edition only includes the first three paragraphs and the first sentence of the fourth paragraph).
Thyroid Examination: Four Suspected of Cancer in Second Screening--These Children Had Normal Exam Results in First Screening
In the thyroid examination conducted in all children in Fukushima Prefecture in order to investigate the effects of radiation as a result of the Tokyo Electric Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant (NPP) accident, officials revealed on December 23rd that 4 children whose first screening was “normal” were diagnosed with suspect thyroid cancer in the second screening. It is to be reported at the Prefecture Oversight Committee to be held in Fukushima City on December 25th.
If these cases are confirmed to be thyroid cancer, they will become the first cases where the increase in cancer is confirmed after the NPP accident.
Fukushima Medical University (FMU), in charge of the screening examination, will hurry to confirm the diagnoses and carefully ascertain whether these cases were caused by the effects of radiation exposure.
Occurrence of pediatric thyroid cancer cases skyrocketed 4-5 years after the Chernobyl NPP accident in 1986. Because of this, FMU considers the results of the first screening, during the three years after the accident, as baseline data with no radiation effects. FMU plans on investigating the effects of radiation by comparing any increase of cancer cases from the second screening onward.
The first screening targeted approximately 370,000 residents who were 18 and younger at the time of the accident. The second screening targets approximately 385,000 residents, including children born in the first year after the accident. In each screening, ultrasound is used to examine the size and shape of thyroid mass, which is classified as “A1,” “A2,” “B” and “C” assessment categories, in the ascending order of severity. “B” and “C” assessment categories go onto secondary examination with a detailed blood test as well as a cytological biopsy.
According to officials, 4 people who were diagnosed with suspect cancer are men and women whose ages were in the 6-17 range at the time of the accident. In the first screening, they had “normal” test results, with 2 in “A1” and the other 2 in “A2” assessment categories. The four participated in the second screening, which began in April 2014, where they were classified in the “B” category and diagnosed with “suspect cancer” during the secondary examination. The tumor size varies from 7 to 17.3 mm.
External exposure dose estimation for the first four months after March 11, 2011 was available for the three of the four, with the maximum being 2.1 mSv. The places of residence for the four [at the time of the accident] included Okuma Town, Fukushima City, Date City and Tamura City.
In addition, it was newly revealed that the number of children who were confirmed with cancer during the first screening went from 57, as of August 2014, to 84, increasing by 27. The number of children with suspect cancer is now 24 (46 as of August).
Images of the article in the paper edition courtesy of @fukushima_info.
The original Japanese transcript can be found here.
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