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View Diary: UN Special Rapporteur: Japan Must Do More for the People of Fukushima (57 comments)

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  •  The UN link alone is pretty upsetting (20+ / 0-)

    It states that there really isn't enough oversight being done into thyroid cancer post-fallout.

    As someone who nearly died of thyroid cancer, I'm sure you can imagine how that sits with me :/

    Thyroid cancer isn't always deadly. It's often pretty slow-growing. But in kids, it grows more quickly. And it can really show up in several forms, each with its own distinct profile of growth and malignancy patterns. If it's aggressive, which it can be, it can easily kill you. Even if it doesn't kill you, it can cause you to be very ill from thyrotoxicosis -- too much thyroid hormone -- which I had, and which can (if prolonged) permanently damage your muscles, your heart, and so forth. It can cause psychological disturbances as well such as panic attacks and insomnia. It can cause malnutrition as well. It can even cause what is called a "thyroid storm," which can be fatal. In my case, I had four years of prolonged, undiagnosed thyrotoxicosis which in and of itself was probably what gave me heart damage and visual damage that I've had since then. This is what these kids are looking at, potentially. The adults too, but in kids, its harsher because their thyroids are already growing at a rapid rate, so the cells really divide more quickly.

    So along with the issue of cancer, the basic issue of prolonged elevated thyroid can be serious if untreated, and can result in death. The cancer usually moves into the lungs, bones, and brain, if I recall.

    And this is not even addressing the whole issue of what the Government should or should not be doing. This is a simple, practical look at the damage that thyroid tumors can cause even if not directly causing cancer damage. As endocrine tumors, the hormones impacted are serious and can in turn effect essentially the entire rest of your body, with specific damages that are typical and others which are less predictable.

    "Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom" - Walter Benjamin

    by mahakali overdrive on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:00:15 PM PST

    •  Thanks for this detail. (11+ / 0-)

      People who think thyroid cancer is an "easy" form of cancer are likely thinking of papillary thyroid cancer, caught early.

      But 14% of thyroid cancers are another form.

      Which is to say nothing of other cancers that may result from various forms of radiation.

      © cai Visit to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Mon Nov 26, 2012 at 10:14:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sorry you had to go through that, MO. (8+ / 0-)

      My Mother-in-Law had thyroid issues when she was young, controlled them with supplemental hormones for the rest of her life but never managed to develop cancer. Thyroid hormones - which include iodine in their molecular structure - are very important to normal metabolism. And cancer is NEVER fun for any sufferer. They've focused on this one (while ignoring the myriad 'other' isotopic exposures) because it's readily treatable these days if caught in time. Looks to me like catching it in time isn't something on the Japanese government's to-do list, since they're keeping the people in the dark about who needs to be followed for treatment.

      The several radioactive isotopes of iodine released in a nuclear Oops concentrate in the thyroid and bombard it point-blank with beta and gamma radiation. Beta in this instance of internal exposure without skin in the way being more damaging. Because iodine is so readily absorbed and concentrated, it is the most limiting isotope of a 'normal' Oops. In a disaster that also releases huge amounts of volatized heavy metal fuels and every other nasty isotope atom smashing creates, it's merely the first to show up AS physical damage if people make it through the original exposures.

      There is much that can be considered relatively 'worse' than thyroid dysfunction/cancer coming in the next decade (and at least a decade beyond that). Inside and well outside Fukushima prefecture.

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