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Translation of a News Article: "Thyroid Cancer--A Few Percent Recurred After Surgeries"


On September 27, 2016, an article titled "Thyroid Cancer: A Few % Recurred After Surgeries" appeared on the website of NHK Fukushima Station. The URL shows an error message because the article is no longer shown online due to a short posting time on local station websites: newer articles push older ones off the slot, and this article, posted at 1:05 pm likely was pushed off the website as the evening news articles rolled in. NHK does not maintain archives of its articles on their website. Luckily, the article was archived here. English translation is provided below, and more detailed information on the surgical cases is available in this post.

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Thyroid Cancer: A Few Percent Recurred After Surgeries

A physician who has been conducting surgeries on children diagnosed with thyroid cancer revealed for the first time that there has been a few percent of the cases recurred after surgery. These cancer cases were diagnosed during the Thyroid Examination conducted by Fukushima Prefecture after the nuclear accident.

Professor Shinichi Suzuki from Fukushima Medical University revealed the fact during the international symposium about thyroid cancer that began on September 26th in Fukushima City.

Fukushima Prefecture has been conducting the thyroid examination to assess the condition of the thyroid gland in about 380,000 residents who were age 18 or younger at the time of the accident. During the symposium, Professor Suzuki presented information such as  detailed conditions and surgical methods on 125 cases—diagnosed by the prefectural thyroid examination—which underwent surgeries at Fukushima Medical University Hospital between August 2012 and March 2016.

The presentation stated 28 (22.4%) of 125 had lymph node metastasis around the neck and 3 (2.4%) had distant metastasis to lungs.

Histopathological classification showed 121 with a common type of thyroid cancer called “papillary thyroid cancer.” The “solid variant” that increased after the Chernobyl nuclear accident was not seen.

Regarding the operation method, the entire thyroid gland (consisting of right and left lobes) was removed in 11, while only one lobe was taken out in the remaining 114.
While declining to give the exact number, Professor Suzuki revealed for the first time that a few percent of the operated patients had recurrence.

The symposium is expected to put together recommendations to Fukushima Prefecture in the afternoon of the 27th regarding how to deal with the thyroid cancer issues in the future.

13:05 (1:05pm), September 27, 2016
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(Note: Literal translation of the original Japanese text refers to the recurrence being "several" percent, but what Suzuki actually said at the symposium was "a few" percent).

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Fukushima Thyroid Examination Fact Sheet:  September 2017
✴Copying or re-posting part or whole of this post is not permitted. Please link to this post instead.

Note: Corrections were made in the following paragraphs in pink color on October 17, 2017.
Second paragraph in section "Screening protocol"
First paragraph in section "Thyroid cancer cases"
First paragraph in section "Transparency and integrity of data"
Second paragraph in subsection "1. A limited time interval after the accident" in section "Official stance on radiation effects"
Fourth paragraph in subsection "2. Very low doses" in section "Official stance on radiation effects"

Note: A shorter version of this fact sheet has been e-published on the website of Kagaku by the Iwanami Publishers. It can be downloaded from this link. Citation in AMA style is as follows: Hiranuma Y. Fukushima thyroid examination fact sheet: September 2017. Kagaku. 2017;87(9):e0001-e0011.


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