Book on thyroid cancer research involving Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Semipalatinsk is published

by Yumi Kanazaki, Staff Writer

Nobuo Takeichi, 67, a resident of Higashi Ward, Hiroshima, has been long engaged in providing medical care to sufferers of the nuclear accident at Chernobyl in the former Soviet Union, as well as to A-bomb survivors in Hiroshima. Dr. Takeichi has now compiled his research activities into a book, published under the title “Radiation Exposure and Thyroid Cancer--Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Semipalatinsk.”

Dr. Takeichi runs a thyroid clinic in Minami Ward, Hiroshima. Along with members of medical support organizations, he has paid visits to contaminated areas in Belarus and Ukraine, where there was grave damage in the wake of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, and Semipalatinsk (now known as Semey), a city in Kazakhstan which was used a nuclear test site by the former Soviet Union. Over a period of about 20 years, Dr. Takeichi traveled to these areas over 60 times, where he provided medical checkups and operations as well as guidance to local doctors.

In his book, Dr. Takeichi shares his research experiences and results, including cases in Hiroshima, Chernobyl, and Semipalatinsk which break down the incidence of thyroid cancer by the age at which the subjects were exposed to radiation, the area at which they were exposed, and their gender. As lessons learned from his research, he preaches the importance of conducting swift evacuations in the event of a nuclear accident, taking a preparation of iodine to protect the thyroid, and maintaining health observations over the long term.

“Since the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 (Daiichi) nuclear power plant, citizens have shown keen concern about radiation,” Dr. Takeichi explained. “The book is technical, but I tried to make it easy to read. I hope that it will be of some help for a fair understanding of radiation.”

The book was co-authored with Masaharu Hoshi, professor at the Research Institute for Radiation Biology and Medicine at Hiroshima University, and Wataru Yasui, professor at the graduate school of Hiroshima University, who have joined Dr. Takeichi in conducting on-site research. Dr. Takeichi plans to compile his other activities, including international medical assistance efforts, local medical checkups, and diagnostic approaches, in further books.

“I was able to obtain these research results thanks to the help of aid organizations in Japan,” Dr. Takeichi said. “I would like to give back what I have learned to many people.”

The A4-sized book consists of 141 pages and is priced at 1,500 yen. It was published by Keisuisha.

(Originally published on September 8, 2011)