Meeting report: the 5th International expert symposium in Fukushima on radiation and health

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Title: Meeting report: the 5th International expert symposium in Fukushima on radiation and health
Authors: Saenko, VA
Thomas, GA
Yamashita, S
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The symposium entitled "Chernobyl +30, Fukushima +5: Lessons and Solutions for Fukushima's Thyroid Question" was held in September, 2016 in Fukushima. The aim of the Symposium was to revisit and recapitulate evidence from the studies in Chernobyl in order to share multidisciplinary opinions and views on the likely reason for the high rate of thyroid cancer detected by the Thyroid Ultrasound Examination program in Fukushima Prefecture. PARTICIPANTS AND MATTERS DISCUSSED: The high prevalence of thyroid cancer in young individuals causes concerns among Fukushima residents and the general public that it might be due to putative radiation exposure from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident. Twenty-six experts from Japan and abroad, including participants affiliated with international organizations, reviewed the results of radiation epidemiology investigations in Chernobyl, presented clinical experience of diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of patients with radiation-related thyroid cancer, and scrutinized the findings on thyroid cancer in Fukushima. CONCLUSION: Conclusions drawn at the symposium included understanding that in contrast to Chernobyl, doses to the public from the accident in Fukushima were too low to give rise to a discernible excess risk for thyroid cancer. The high detection rate of thyroid cancer and benign abnormalities resulted from the use of highly sensitive ultrasound equipment and sophisticated protocol of examination used in the Thyroid Ultrasound Examination, and therefore not attributable to radiation. Coordinated efforts will be necessary to avoid overdiagnosis and overtreatment, which may carry its own health disbenefits. Clear communication to the screening participants and their families is recommended in regard to why the examination is being conducted and to explain the likely outcomes and risks, including the means and options for treatment if a thyroid disorder is detected.
Issue Date: 18-Jan-2017
Date of Acceptance: 11-Jan-2017
ISSN: 1832-3367
Publisher: BioMed Central
Journal / Book Title: Environmental Health
Volume: 16
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s). 2017 Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Sponsor/Funder: Imperial College Trust
National Institutes of Health
Funder's Grant Number: DDOH_P18754
Keywords: Chernobyl
Thyroid cancer
Ultrasound screening
05 Environmental Sciences
06 Biological Sciences
11 Medical And Health Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Conference Place: England
Article Number: 3
Appears in Collections:Division of Surgery
Division of Cancer
Faculty of Medicine

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