Over 44% Of Fukushima Children Have Thyroid Abnormalities

Fukushima Thyroid Examination Part 4 (Fukushima Voice, Feb 13, 2013):

The Tenth Report of Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey was released on February 13, 2013.

The Radiation Medical Science Center of Fukushima Medical University now has an English site where they have complete, official translation of the previous survey results.

However, the newly released result has not been officially translated yet.  Excerpts of the new thyroid examination result are translated into English in this article.  In addition, some critical information from the February 13, 2013 Committee meeting is included.

The thyroid examination section of the survey is shown in this link.
www.pref.fukushima.jp/imu/kenkoukanri/250213siryou2.pdf (Japanese)

It contains new thyroid examination results from April 1, 2012 through January 21, 2013, for Fiscal Year Heisei 24 (FYH24) which ends on March 31, 2013.  As of January 25, 2013, 111,546 of eligible 128,082 children underwent the examination in FYH24.  In FYH23, 38,114 of 47,766 eligible children underwent examination.  As a whole, 149,660 of 175,848 eligible children, about half of the Fukushima children, already underwent examination.

The results compiled up to January 21, 2013 revealed that 41,947 (44.2%) of 94,975 children had thyroid ultrasound abnormalities.  Together with 38,114 children (13,645 or 35.8% had thyroid ultrasound abnormalities) tested in the last half of Fiscal Year Heisei 23 (FYH23)  from October 2011 through March 2012, a total of 55,592 (41.8%) of 133,089 Fukushima children have been found to have ultrasound abnormalities.

The Fukushima Prefecture Health Management Survey Planning Committee revealed that 10 of 186 eligible for the secondary examination from FYH23 were suspected of having thyroid cancer as a result of the examination.  They reported that three of them were confirmed to have papillary carcinoma of thyroid gland and already had surgery.  The remaining seven have 80% chance of having cancer based on their biopsy results. These children’s identities were not revealed, including their estimated thyroid exposure dose and place of residence, citing protection of their privacy.

The ten children included 3 boys and 7 girls, and their average age was 15.  The average size of their tumor was 15 mm.

The three children who already had surgery include a female child between age 16 and 18 who had a C assessment in the last result, as publicized in mid-November 2012.  They are all apparently doing well after surgery, being followed on an outpatient basis at this time.

There were 549 children eligible for secondary examination from FYH24, with 200 more children likely to be added from Koriyama-city and Miharu-machi where the primary examination is currently conducted.  Of these 549 children, 36 have finished the secondary examination, but the results have not been released.

The percentage of abnormalities from FYH24 at 44.2% is higher than previous results of 42.7% and 43.1%, and the overall abnormality rate, for FYH23 and FYH24 combined, of 41.8% is higher than the last result of 40%.  The proportion of children with nodules equal to and larger than 5.1 mm and any size cysts have increased.

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