The first case of thyroid cancer in a child hailing from Fukushima has been reported. The report is significant because it’s the first after the nuclear power plant meltdown and radiation leaks caused by last year’s disaster. The Fukushima Prefectural Government panel claims that the child is not affected due to the radiation from the nuclear crisis.
A meeting of the eight-member panel discussed the findings and are apparently screening the residents at regular intervals. The thyroid gland screening for 360,000 residents includes children who were 18-years or younger on March 11, 2011. So far around 80,000 residents have been screened and gone through medical checkups. Details about the child like the age and gender were not disclosed, in order to protect their privacy.
According to Shinichi Suzuki, a professor at Fukushima Medical University, who is responsible for performing the medical checks, says that there is no confirmed link between cancer diagnosis and radiation leakage. Apparently unlike Hiroshima and Nagasaki or even Chernobyl, no radiation exposure – either internal or external was experienced by the residents. In any case, the Chernobyl victims displayed signs of cancer, only four years after the exposure. The professor elaborated that it takes five to six years before abnormality in chromosomes caused by radiation develops into thyroid cancer. Only then does it grow to a size that is detectable by medical checks.