Higher thyroid cancer rate from Chernobyl confirmed

A new study confirms a substantially increased risk of thyroid cancer among people exposed to radiation during childhood and adolescence after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

A total of 13,127 of the 32,385 individuals living in the most contaminated area of the Ukraine during the nuclear plant meltdown and who were under 18 at the time were screened between 1998 and 2000, Dr. Geoffrey R. Howe of Columbia University in New York and colleagues report. They found that 45 cases of thyroid cancer occurred compared with 11.2 cases that would have been expected in the absence of radiation exposure. Plus, the higher the dosage of radioactive iodine, the greater the thyroid cancer risk.

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