FUKUSHIMA – Seven more Fukushima Prefecture residents who were aged 18 or under at the time of the 2011 nuclear accident have been found to have thyroid cancer, the prefectural government said Monday.
The number of Fukushima residents suffering from thyroid cancer now totals 152, the prefectural government said in a meeting of an expert panel.
Hokuto Hoshi, head of the panel and vice chair of the prefectural medical association, called it “unlikely” that radiation was responsible for the increase.
The prefectural government has conducted three sets of thyroid checkups following the March 2011 triple meltdown at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. The checkups also covered people who evacuated to other prefectures.
The second round of checkups from 2014 confirmed five new sufferers, and a third round launched in May last year uncovered two more.
The panel decided to consider improving its counting method, as the cancer can be detected during regular medical examinations, not only the government checkups.