A Fukushima Prefectural Government panel on the health impact from the nuclear crisis says a minor has contracted thyroid cancer.
The finding was reported at a meeting Tuesday of the eight-member panel that is organizing thyroid gland screening for 360,000 residents who were 18 or younger as of March 11, 2011. About 80,000 have received the medical checks so far. The thyroid cancer sufferer was found among those who received the checks last fiscal year to March 31.
Prof. Shinichi Suzuki at Fukushima medical University said that there was no confirmed link between the case and radiation released during the nuclear accident. "Even in the case of Chernobyl, it took at least four years before residents developed thyroid cancer symptoms" Suzuki said.
Gen Suzuki, a professor at the International University of Health and Welfare in Tochigi Prefecture who specializes in radiation epidemiology, also said there is no link between the Fukushima accident and the thyroid cancer.
"It usually takes 5 to 6 years before abnormality in chromosomes caused by radiation develops into thyroid cancer and grows into a size that is detectable by medical checks. A year and a half is too short," he said, adding it is likely the cancer developed in the individual before the Fukushima accident.
Sep. 13, 2012 Japan Times