26 Thyroid Cancer Cases Found in Fukushima Children

Another 32 minors in the city had symptoms of the disease. It is too early to know if cases are related to a nuclear accident. WHO says children in the region are at higher risk of developing thyroid cancer.

The latest medical tests found 26 cases of children with thyroid cancer in Fukushima City, Japan, although it is too early to know if they are related to the nuclear crisis.

The committee in charge of conducting regular tests in Fukushima has since October 2011 analyzed about 226,000 residents in the region, the Japan Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

In addition to the cases of thyroid cancer already diagnosed, another 32 minors in the city had symptoms of the disease. The number is higher than in August, when the study detected up to 18 cases of children diagnosed with the disease and 25 other suspected cases. A group of local experts said it is too brief to determine that these cases are linked to nuclear catastrophe, as thyroid cancer develops "very slowly."

Radioactive iodine tends to accumulate in the thyroid glands causing the disease, which especially affects young children.
The number of children affected by thyroid cancer between the ages of 10 and 14 in Fukushima is considerably higher than the country's average, although these data are not easily comparable because no such exhaustive study has been done in other areas of Japan.

After the Chernobyl disaster over 6,000 cases of children with thyroid cancer were diagnosed, mostly attributed to the consumption of contaminated milk, according to the UN Scientific Committee.
Fukushima will increase the number of people who will participate in the next study, which will be held in April next year to examine the health of people born after the March 11, 2011 tsunami.

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