One of the major Japanese weekly magazine, Shukan Bunshun has a sensational article on its latest issue about thyroid "cancer" in children who evacuated from Fukushima. Let's see if the Japanese MSM and the government attack the publisher for "fear-mongering", just like they reflexively do for the "international" media.
The article on the magazine's 3/1/2012 issue is available only in print. The following is what little I gathered from tweets including the photo of the printed article in Japan:
Serious abnormalities found in 11 evacuees from Fukushima Prefecture
4-year-old and 7-year-old may have "thyroid cancer"
Medically impossible nodules and cysts...
Shunichi Yamashita, Vice President of Fukushima Medical University emailed "Do not test them." (Title of the Bunshun article)
Reporting by "Oshidori Maco", comedian who's been reporting on the Fukushima accident since last year, and particularly supporting people of Iitate-mura.
7-year old girl had 8 millimeter nodule on her thyroid. The nodule was found with microcalcifications [which may be a sign of cancer]. Her 2-year-old sister also had 2 millimeter nodule with microcalcifications. The doctor who examined them said "I've never seen anything like this."
7-year-old girl and 4-year-old boy both evacuated from Koriyama City in Fukushima.
7-year-old girl subsequently underwent the blood test, and the nodule was determined to be "benign".
2 children and 9 adults were tested in Sapporo, and thyroid cancer was suspected. One of them, an adult woman, has been confirmed to have thyroid cancer, and the surgery is already scheduled.
Orthodoxy by the Japanese researchers is that "it is impossible for children under the age of 6 to have nodules 5 millimeters or larger", but the doctor who examined them in Sapporo, Hokkaido says, "Whatever they say, this is the result."
In the case of Chernobyl, it took 4 years till the cases of thyroid cancer started to appear. The doctor in Sapporo is shocked by the quick onset.
The doctor was in close contact with Dr. Shunichi Yamashita of Fukushima Medical University to confirm how the thyroid echography was done. Dr. Yamashita emailed the doctor "I request that you refrain from testing [them] on your own."
The doctor used the same method of testing as Fukushima Medical University.
The magazine apparently didn't tell the doctor that the magazine was writing an article, and he held a press conference protesting against the magazine.
The doctor's press conference handout is here (PDF).
I watched his press conference, but 10 minutes into his rambling and spaced-out press conference all he said was there should be a system to continuously monitor the thyroids for Fukushima residents. So? What's his beef with the Bunshun article?
The reporter ("Oshidori Maco") didn't identify herself as the reporter for Shukan Bunshun. She didn't tell him that the article was about to be published. She apparently told one of the evacuees, who told the doctor.
The number of people tested was different.
Dr. Shunichi Yamashita didn't say such a thing.
- He wanted to publish a paper, but now the story is out, and he's very unhappy about it.
So the reporter blew the doctor's chance for having his article published in a peer-review magazine. Apparently she snuck into one of the informational meetings that the doctor had with the Fukushima evacuees without telling him she was reporting for the magazine.
Kouta Kinoshita says in his blog that he and several others had known about it, and were trying to find a better way to disclose the information with the agreement of all the parties involved (parents, for one). He seems rather upset with the reporter. He also quotes an expert of the Chernobyl accident he consults with:
"At this stage, you can't tell whether it is a malignant tumor. I personally think the Bunshun article went overboard. What's known now is that they have some tumor of unknown nature. The growth is rapid, and no doubt it is a health damage from radioactive materials. I think it can be categorized as damage caused by radiation, even if the growth is benign, because before March 11 [accident], such growth was impossible in children."
Others say before the March 11, 2011 nuclear accident, no one tested children younger than 6 years old for thyroid problems, so there is no baseline data to begin with.
It looks like Shukan Bunshun blew things out of proportion and in the process blew the chance for the doctor to get published. (Not that I feel sorry for the doctor for his lost chance...)