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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).

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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…

Thyroid Cancer in Fukushima Children: When the Language and Information Gaps Mislead

With the year 2016 marking the passage of five years since the Fukushima nuclear accident, many writings—articles, editorials, academic papers—have been released reflecting on the first five years after the accident. Some of the writings address a psychosocial aspect of the accident such as “problems” caused by the stress of evacuation and the “unwarranted” fear of radiation, dismissing the potential health effects of radiation exposure, even ignoring the science. Others focus on the alleged withholding of medical data by authorities, speculating on the health effects of the Fukushima accident reaching even the United States. 

Official data and information available in English are often limited and biased. Transparency and impartiality of such information, released by the government and international agencies, can be influenced by ulterior motives other than public health protection. However, without a fluency in Japanese and an ability to navigate through and comprehend the mass of of…