26 Mars 2016
March 14, 2016
Families of children in Fukushima Prefecture who were diagnosed with thyroid cancer through health checkups conducted by the prefectural government in the wake of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant disaster launched a family association on March 12.
The "311 Thyroid Cancer Family Group" has been established with a goal of patients and their families interacting to share information regarding treatment and to reach out to the central and prefectural governments over the issue of child thyroid cancer in Fukushima.
By the end of 2015, a total of 166 people who were 18 years old or younger at the time of the nuclear meltdowns in March 2011 had been diagnosed with thyroid cancer or suspected of having thyroid cancer.
The association members held a news conference on March 12 with the fathers of two thyroid cancer patients joining the conference via the Internet.
"It was painful to be told out of the blue that my son has cancer," said a father of a thyroid cancer patient who was aged between 11 and 19 at the onset of the Fukushima crisis, adding, "I was helped just by talking to those who can share each other's feelings. I believe that there are a lot of people who are distressed (by their family members' illness), but I hope they find the courage to join the group."
The annual fee for membership is set at 1,000 yen per family. For more information on admission and consultations, call 070-3132-9155 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or find out more about the association at http://311kazoku.jimdo.com/ (in Japanese).
March 12, 2016
Family members of children who've been diagnosed with thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture have formed a group to exchange information and share concerns.
Members of the group appeared with a lawyer at a news conference on Saturday. Two fathers joined via TV phone.
One said he was stunned to discover his child has cancer. He said being able to talk to other people has made it easier to cope. He also said he wants to know the cause.
The group includes 5 families. They plan to approach others to join.
Fukushima Prefecture has offered medical checkups to more than 380,000 people who were 18 or younger at the time of the nuclear accident 5 years ago.
Health authorities say the number of people so far diagnosed with cancer or suspected cancer is 167.
A committee of experts advising the prefectural government says it seems unlikely that the numbers are due to radiation. It says people have been exposed to low amounts.