Sixteen young people who lived near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer, prefectural authorities said May 18, although they added it is “unlikely” a direct result of the nuclear accident.
Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting thyroid tests on about 385,000 residents and others who were 18 years old or younger at the time of the onset of the March 2011 nuclear disaster caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
A prefectural panel said the results of the first round of tests that concluded in March 2014 revealed the ratio of those diagnosed or suspected of having thyroid cancer who live near the Fukushima plant was no different than the ratio of the same age group from elsewhere in Japan.
The 16 new cases were detected between January and March, and bring the total number of young people diagnosed with the disease in the testing program to 103. Thyroid cancer can be confirmed only after surgery.
The latest 16 include 12 individuals who were suspected of having the disease during the first study, and four who were believed to have the disease during the second study.
According to prefectural officials, 112 young people were diagnosed or suspected of having thyroid cancer during the first study, with the figure at 15, thus far, in the second survey, bringing the total to date to 127 people.
Read more at Fukushima finds 16 new cases of thyroid cancer in young people