New York Times, Nov. 5, 2014 (emphasis added): To the shock of many cancer experts, the most common cancer in South Korea… is now thyroid cancer, whose incidence has increased fifteenfold in the past two decades. “A tsunami of thyroid cancer,” as one researcher puts it… Cancer experts agree that the reason for the situation in South Korea and elsewhere is not a real increase in the disease. Instead, it is down to screening… “It’s a warning to us in the U.S. that we need to be very careful in our advocacy of screening,” said Dr. Otis W. Brawley, chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society… some doctors, including Dr. Hyeong Sik Ahn of the College of Medicine at Korea University in Seoul, the first author of the new paper, have called for thyroid cancer screening to be banned… Thyroid experts in the United States are calling for restraint in diagnosing and treating tiny tumors… Dr. R. Michael Tuttle… said the best way… was to “stop the diagnosis… decrease screening”
New York Times Op-ed by H. Gilbert Welch, Nov. 5, 2014: An Epidemic of Thyroid Cancer [in South Korea]?… Nowhere in the world is the rate of any cancer growing faster… Where did all those new thyroid cancers come from? They were always there. As early as 1947 [See:August 1945 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, both ~150 miles from S. Korea] … thyroid cancer was a frequent finding during autopsies. Studies have since shown that over a third of adults have thyroid cancer… Even without a concerted effort to promote screening, thyroid cancer incidence in the United States is up threefold since 1975. To reverse this trend,we need to actively discourage early thyroid cancer detection… having doctors not look too hard for early cancer is in your interest… Too many epidemiologists concern themselves.. with hoping to find small health effects of environmental exposures — orworse, uncertain effects of minor genetic alterations.
Wall St. Journal, Oct 21, 2014: A South Korean court for the first time has ruled in favor of a plaintiff claiming… thyroid cancer was caused by radiation from six nuclear power plants located [5 miles] from her house… “She has lived within 10 km of the plants for over 20 years and has thus been exposed to radiation for a long time. Other than the radiation from the nuclear reactors, there’s no clear reason for her cancer,” the court said… [A] government-commissioned study in 2011… showed women living within 5 km of nuclear plants had 2.5 times higher incidences of thyroid cancer… [In a study of the plaintiff’s county by a] nuclear-power research institute… between July 2010 and December 2013, about 1.4%… were found to have thyroid cancer… in 2011 [women had] 114 cases out of 100,000 [0.11%].
UC San Francisco, Oct. 27, 2014: For the first time, researchers have found that exposure to radioactive iodine is associated with more aggressive forms of thyroid cancer… Lydia Zablotska, MD [said] “Our group has previously shown that exposures to [Chernobyl’s] radioactive iodine significantly increase the risk of thyroid cancer… The new study shows that radiation exposures are also associated with distinct clinical features that are more aggressive”… Zablotska said the findings have implications for those exposed to [Fukushima’s] radioactive iodine fallout... “children or adolescents to the fallout are at highest risk and should probably be screened for thyroid cancer regularly, because these cancers are aggressive, and they can spread really fast… Clinicians should be aware of the aggressiveness of radiation-associated tumors and closely monitor those at high risk.”… radioactive iodine [exposures] are associated with a whole spectrum of thyroid diseases… Thyroid cancer is ordinarily rare among children, with less than one new case per million diagnosed each year… [In the study] researchers diagnosed 158 thyroid cancers among 11,664 [13,546 per million] subjects…