Stomach cancer, which has been confirmed in Fukushima Prefecture for eight consecutive years, was also found to be more common among A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

August 10, 2022

Stomach Cancer Incidence Rate Rises among Women in Fukushima Prefecture

Radiation levels measured at Nagadoro, Iitate Village, which we visited for the first time on May 15, 2011, two months after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, after carefully contaminating and protecting ourselves. This meter could only measure up to 10 microsieverts/hour, and the radiation level was “9.99 microsieverts/hour. ゙lt/h” was shown and swept away.

On May 27, 2019 national cancer registry data was released on the government statistics website e-Stat.

(https://www.e-stat.go.jp/stat-search/files?page=1&layout=datalist&toukei=00450173&tstat=000001133323&cycle=7&year=20190&month=0&tclass1=000001133363&tclass2=000001133368&tclass3=000001133370&result_back=1&tclass4val=0)

Following up on my article that appeared on this website on August 26, 2011 (“Stomach Cancer in Fukushima Prefecture”: Confirmation of the 7th consecutive year of “high incidence of stomach cancer” — Should the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident no longer be regarded as a “major pollution incident”? (–) (https://level7online.jp/?p=4608), we compared the “National Incidence Rate of Stomach Cancer by Age Group” with the same rate in Fukushima Prefecture, based on the published data for 19 years.

Table 1 shows the results. Various age groups for both men and women exceeded the national average. In particular, in 2007, there were many age groups among women that exceeded the national average. Some of the age groups are double the national average (40-44 years).

Table 1.

On the other hand, only three age groups (0-4, 20-24, and 25-29) were below the national average. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to the “increase in the incidence rate of stomach cancer among women in Fukushima Prefecture” over the past few years.

Next, we conducted a comparison with the actual number of cases of gastric cancer in Fukushima Prefecture, assuming that the same rate of gastric cancer is occurring in Fukushima Prefecture as in the rest of Japan. This is a method to calculate the “standardized incidence ratio” (SIR) using epidemiological methods. The national average is set at 100, and if it is higher than the national average, it means above the national average, and if it is lower than the national average, it means below the national average.

The following is the result of the calculation of SIR for the period from 2008 to 2007 for stomach cancer in Fukushima Prefecture.

Stomach cancer] Number of cases in Fukushima Prefecture SIR

Male: 1279 88.3 in 2008

Male in 2009: 1366 94.1

10-year male: 1500 101.1

11-year male: 1391 92.2

12-year male: 1672 110.6

13-year male, 1659 110.9

14-year male, 1711 119.3

15-year male, 1654 116.6

16-year male, 1758 116.3

17-year man 1737 120.0

18years male, 1685 120.0

19-year man 1743 126.9

2008 female 602 86.6

2009 female 640 94.2

10-year female 700 100.9

11year female 736 100.9

12-year woman 774 109.2

13-year girl 767 109.9

14-year girl 729 109.0

15-year girl 769 120.3

16-year girl 957 139.4

17-year girl 778 119.6

18-year girl 744 118.4

19-year female: 817 131.8

The National Cancer Center considers a prefecture to have a “high cancer incidence rate” when the SIR exceeds 110. The SIR for stomach cancer in Fukushima Prefecture has been higher than the national average for both men and women since 2000, and the latest data for 2007 shows that the SIR for men was 12.6.9 and for women 131.8. The latest data from 2007 shows an abnormally high SIR of 12.6.9 for men and 131.8 for women.

We then tried to find the “95% confidence interval” for this SIR. This is one of the validation tasks in epidemiology, where the upper limit (or more precisely, the “upper limit of the estimate”) and the lower limit (or the “lower limit of the estimate”) of each SIR are calculated, and if the lower limit is 10 If the lower limit exceeds 0, it means that the increase is not merely increasing, but is a “statistically significant multiple occurrence” that cannot be considered as a coincidence in terms of probability.

The results are shown in [Table 2]. In Fukushima Prefecture, the incidence of stomach cancer in both men and women has been “significantly high” for eight consecutive years since 2000, and SIR has also been on the rise, showing no sign that the incidence of stomach cancer is slowing down. As is clear from the number of cases in Table 2, while the number of stomach cancer cases nationwide has continued to decline in recent years, the number of cases in Fukushima Prefecture, on the contrary, has increased.

Table 2

Incidentally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. published a report on the minimum incubation period for cancer, Minimum The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has published a report on the minimum latency of cancer, Minimum Latency & Types or Categories of Cancer (hereinafter referred to as the “CDC Report”). The CDC report on the “Minimum Latency & Types or Categories of Cancer” (hereinafter referred to as “CDC Report”) lists, in order from shortest to longest, the following

Leukemia, malignant lymphoma: 0.4 years (146 days)

Childhood cancer (including pediatric thyroid cancer): 1 year

Adult thyroid cancer: 2.5 years

All solid cancers including lung cancer: 4 years

Mesothelioma] 11 years

and so on [Table 3]. According to this CDC report, the shortest latency period for stomach cancer is “4 years.

Table 3

In other words, 12,642 Fukushima Prefecture residents who have contracted stomach cancer since 2015, four years after the occurrence of the TEPCO Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, include 12,642 people from the same nuclear power plant. It is possible that some of the 12,642 Fukushima residents who have developed stomach cancer since 2015, four years after the accident at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, developed the disease as a result of exposure to toxic substances released by the accident.

Prior to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, until 2010, stomach cancer SIRs among Fukushima residents were equal to or lower than the national average. The “excess” of the SIRs was the “excess” of the national average. It is eagerly awaited that the correlation and causal relationship between the accident and carcinogenesis will be verified from the viewpoint that the “excess” number of stomach cancer patients may include victims of the nuclear power plant accident.

Both the number of thyroid cancer cases and the incidence rate of thyroid cancer in males have increased.

Next, we will examine thyroid cancer, which is a concern because of its high incidence among young people, and the CDC report indicates that the minimum incubation period is 2.5 years for adults and 1 year for children. 1 year for children.

The incidence rates of thyroid cancer by age group and the number of cases by age group calculated from these rates are shown in Tables 4 and 5. In 2019, eight years after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, thyroid cancer was still confirmed in young people.

Table 4
Table 5

Among females, 2 were confirmed in the 10-14 age group, 8 in the 15-19 age group, 5 in the 20-24 age group, and 6 in the 25-29 age group. The total for all age groups was 199, meaning that patients who were under the age of 20 at the time of the accident in 2011 accounted for about 8% of the total at the lowest estimate and about 11% at the highest estimate [Table 5].

On the other hand, 4 males were identified in the 10-14 age group, 6 in the 15-19 age group, 1 in the 20-24 age group, and 2 in the 25-29 age group. The total number of patients in all age groups is 76, which means that patients who were under the age of 20 at the time of the accident in 2011 accounted for about 14% of the total at the lowest estimate and about 17% at the highest estimate [Table 5].

The SIR and its “95% confidence interval” for thyroid cancer are shown in Table 6. In both cases, the minimum incubation period for thyroid cancer, 2.5 years, had elapsed since the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

Table 6.

In the latest 19-year period, the number of cases and incidence rate of thyroid cancer in Fukushima Prefecture increased for males. Both the number of cases and incidence rate decreased for females.

Significant “high incidence” continues for gall bladder and bile duct cancer.

No trend of increased incidence was observed for malignant lymphoma and leukemia ([Table 7] and Table 8]).

Table 7
Table 8

The most recent 2019 data also showed a continued abnormality in gall bladder and bile duct cancer, which is classified as a “solid cancer” according to the CDC report, with a minimum latency period of “4 years” (Table 8). The minimum latency period is 4 years.

Significant incidence” of gall bladder and bile duct cancer was observed in men in 2010 and in women in 2009, before the nuclear accident. After 2016, when the minimum incubation period of “4 years” has passed, “significantly high incidence” was confirmed in both men and women. The incidence was “high” for four consecutive years for males and six consecutive years for females ([Table 9]).

Table 9

Prostate cancer, which was found to be “significantly more frequent” for three consecutive years from 2004 to 2006, had its “more frequent” status eliminated in the latest 2019 data. Nevertheless, the SIR remains above the national average, so continued attention should be paid to this issue ([Table 10]).

Table 10

Finally, regarding ovarian cancer. The minimum incubation period is “4 years” (Table 11). Although “significantly more cases” were observed in 2013 and 2014 before the minimum incubation period, the SIR has been below the national average since then. However, the latest data for 2019 shows that SIR exceeded the national average for the first time in five years, and the number of cases in the prefecture continues to increase slightly, so it is important to pay attention to the data.

Table 11

Stomach cancer was also on the rise among A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Toshihide Tsuda, a professor at the Graduate School of Okayama University who specializes in epidemiology and causal inference, took a look at these data. Professor Tsuda said.

The situation is more severe than we had expected, and it has exceeded our projections by quite a bit. Not only thyroid cancer, which has already shown a clear increase, but also other cancers that are now on the rise are cancers that are also noticeably on the rise in the data on A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I feel that it is necessary to make appropriate preparations, quickly formulate countermeasures and enhanced risk communication, and discuss how to respond to the situation. I suspect that the actual radiation exposure was considerably higher than what has been publicized.”

The Ministry of the Environment’s “Uniform Basic Data on Radiation Health Effects, etc.” (FY 2008 edition) states

The Ministry of the Environment’s “Uniform Basic Data on Radiation Health Effects” (FY 2008 edition) states, “In adults, the organs most likely to develop cancer due to radiation exposure are the bone marrow, colon, breast, lung, and stomach.

(Figure below). In other words, an increase in stomach cancer has been observed among A-bomb survivors.

Ministry of the Environment, “Unified Basic Data on Radiation Health Effects, etc.” (FY 2008 edition)

To be sure, we also examined breast cancer and lung cancer, which are considered to be more common among A-bomb survivors, and found no “significant increase” in the Fukushima Prefecture data through 2007. However, a slight upward trend was observed for breast cancer in males, a rare cancer, since 2004 (5 cases in 2002, 7 cases in 2003, 10 cases in 2004, 11 cases in 2005, 10 cases in 2006, and 7 cases in 2007). The number of cases of breast cancer in the United States is also reported.

The number of people who have been living in the area since the last year (October 2021) is still very high.

Kenichi Hasegawa (68 years old), a former dairy farmer in Iitate Village, who passed away from thyroid cancer last October (2021), revealed in February 2008 that “a number of people in the village have contracted stomach cancer and died one after another,” and said the following.

People in their late fifties and sixties, younger than me, are dying. Most of them have cancer. This was not the case in Iitate Village before the nuclear accident.

They died at the same age as us, so it is even more memorable. And it is not long after the cancer is found that it gets worse and worse and they pass away.

If you get cancer when you are 80 or 90 years old, you may think that it can’t be helped and that you have fulfilled your destiny, but that is not the case if you are in your 60s,” he said.

Mr. Hasegawa himself had less than a year from the time he found out he had cancer to the time of his death.

In November 2002, Mr. Hasegawa and about 2,800 other Iitate villagers filed a claim for compensation from TEPCO for health concerns caused by high initial radiation exposure due to the delay in evacuation. In November 2002, they filed an application for alternative dispute resolution (ADR) with the Center for the Resolution of Nuclear Damage Disputes. The “fears” of that time are now beginning to become a reality.

Some scientists and journalists, by the way, have been reporting on the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) without any check of the data from the National Cancer Registry. (UNSCEAR).

“It is unlikely that there are any future health effects directly attributable to radiation exposure.

There are those who stubbornly try to deny the occurrence of cancer due to the nuclear accident, waving the UNSCEAR report as if it were a “banner”. However, the UNSCEAR report is not based on actual measurements due to the fact that Fukushima and other prefectures prevented the survey of radiation doses immediately after the accident. The UNSCEAR report, however, is not a fact in itself.

If you call yourself a scientist or a journalist and really want to deny the occurrence of cancer due to the nuclear accident, you should verify it with your own hands using the National Cancer Registry data, which is the “facts themselves,” instead of relying only on the estimated reports made by others. The national cancer registry data is also data for this purpose.