Results of mass screening of children, teens for thyroid cancer following Fukushima nuclear accident
Bottom Line: The accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in 2011 raised grave concerns about radioactive material released into the environment, including concerns over radiation-induced thyroid cancer. Ultrasound screenings for thyroid cancer were subsequently conducted in the Fukushima Health Management Survey. This observational study group includes about 324,000 people 18 or younger at the time of the accident and it reports on two rounds of ultrasound screening during the first five years after the accident. Thyroid cancer or suspected cancer was identified in 187 individuals within five years (116 people in the first round among nearly 300,000 people screened and 71 in the second round among 271,000 screened). The overwhelmingly common diagnosis in surgical cases was papillary thyroid cancer (149 of 152 or 98 percent).
Authors: Akira Ohtsuru, M.D., Ph.D., Fukushima Medical University, Fukushima, Japan, and coauthors
Related material: The commentary, “Why the Data From the Fukushima Health Management Survey After the Daiichi Nuclear Power Station Accident Are Important,” by Andrew J. Bauer, M.D., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and Louise Davies, M.D., M.S., Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, White River Junction, Vermont, is available on the For The Media website.
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor’s Note: The article includes conflict of interest disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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Akira Ohtsuru, M.D., Ph.D.