This past Thursday AP and UPI reported that a study from Japanese researchers and published in the journal Epidemiology has documented thyroid cancer rates in Fukushima area children that are 20 to 50 times the national average.
From the UPI, Children near Fukushima show higher rates of cancer:
A team of Japanese researchers led by Toshihide Tsuda, a professor of environmental epidemiology at Okayama University, said cases of thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture have skyrocketed since March 2011, Kyodo News reported.
The rates were about 20 to 50 times the national average, according to the analysis. The findings were based on screenings of 370,000 Fukushima residents age 18 or younger, and the culprit was increased radiation exposure since the Fukushima nuclear disaster hit the area in March 2011. In late August, the prefecture had identified 104 cases of thyroid cancer.
According to the AP article the rate of thyroid cancer in children elsewhere is one or two per million per year.
The study is available (open access) from this link:
Thyroid Cancer Detection by Ultrasound Among Residents Ages 18 Years and Younger in Fukushima, Japan: 2011 to 2014
Results: The highest incidence rate ratio [IRR], using a latency period of 4 years, was observed in the central middle district of the prefecture compared with the Japanese annual incidence (incidence rate ratio = 50; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 25, 90). The prevelence of thyroid cancer was 605 per million examinees (95% CI - 302, 1,082) and the prevalence odds ratio compared with the reference district in Fukushima Prefecture was 2.6 (95% CI = 0.99, 7.0). In the second screening round, even under the assumption that the rest of examinees were disease free, an incidence rate ratio of 12 has already been observed (95% CI = 5.1, 23).
and the conclusion:
An excess of thyroid cancer has been detected by ultrasound among children and adolescents in Fukushima Prefecture within 4 years of the release, and is unlikely to be explained by a screening surge.
All right there on page 1.
Now, this situation absolutely has NOT come as a surprise to anybody keeping track of the disaster and its aftermath, nor are the not very impressive sleights of mind from nuclear apologists in and out of Japan surprising. The same people have been trying valiently to brush aside the findings of all three phases conducted so far of the mass ultrasound screening of children exposed to radioactive iodine when three commercial nuclear cores suffered total meltdown/melt-throughs back in March of 2011. These most often revolve around the idea that if you were looking for thyroid abnormalities in all children with ultrasound, you'd find 20 to 50 times more full-blown cancer cases in children than show up at doctors offices every year suffering from full-blown thyroid cancer. They call this a "screening surge."
Some of the apologists insist that childhood thyroid cancer is really very common, but 'goes away' if it's ignored (best I can figure from such a ridiculous argument). Neglecting entirely the fact that most of the 104 cancers thus far treated (33 more "suspected" but not yet operated on) have been classified "aggressive." Not even the children of the most dedicated nuclear champions on the planet would be expected to "outgrow" aggressive thyroid cancer if it's ignored. That's dishonest, dangerous and cruel.
At the 'normal' incidence rate of 2 out of 1,000,000 children per year, it would take nearly 150 years to rack up 104 cases of actual childhood thyroid cancer in a given population of 370,000 (number of children involved in this screening). Not a single one of which will live 150 years even if they never get thyroid cancer (or any other cancer). All of these cancers were diagnosed in Fukushima children within 4 years of the nuclear disaster.
• Radioactive iodine is very well known by medicine and health physics and nuclear regulators to cause thyroid cancers, primarily in children, more commonly girl children.
• Cancer is not and never has been a medical condition that children "grow out of" if their symptoms are ignored.
• Thyroid cancer - just like other cancers - can and does kill its victims if left untreated.
The treatment for thyroid cancer is surgical removal of the thyroid gland from its location in the throat, and is not without risks. It also requires drug treatment for the rest of the patient's life. Thus insisting that testing Fukushima children for thyroid cancer is somehow causing thyroid cancer to be "overdiagnosed" is absurd, dishonest, dangerous and ultimately cruel. Remember, these are confirmed cases of thyroid cancer. These nut-jobs would rather all of these children simply die quietly and out of sight, apparently. I find that disgusting.
Marco Kaltofen, PhD., P.E., president of Boston Chemical Data Corporation, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, had this to say about the study:
These increases in the IRRs (Incidence Rate Ratios) are very large, according to the health screening data. If any scientist claims that such double digit increases in IRRs are the result of better screening, then they are going to have to provide some data to back this up.
Tsuda et al gave us their data. If they have any data, then the critics need to make it public.
I agree. It makes no rational sense at all to claim that the "normal" rate of thyroid cancer in children is about 100 per million per year, despite many decades' worth of actual cancer statistics demonstrating 1 - 2 per million per year. I promise that if 100 out of every million children on this planet were dying of undiagnosed and untreated thyroid cancer every year, someone would have noticed long before now and ultrasound testing of all children in nations with health care systems would have been instituted well back in the last century to try and stop the deadly epidemic.
So. For all who will inevitably show up in the comments to argue that a rate of 100 cases of childhood thyroid cancer per million per year is the "normal" incidence rate, please provide some evidence to back it up. Not just another fallacious argument to authority of some self-appointed 'expert' or other merely parroting the outrageous claim, please. That's positively insulting.