Russian television reports huge post-Chernobyl thyroid cancer rates and urges medical check ups

ORT Russian Television

Publish date: September 23, 2008

Russian state Channel One’s programme “Health” has warned that in the wake of the Chernobyl accident 22 years ago, doctors are seeing an increase in thyroid disease and are recommending that Russians between the ages of 20 and 40 turn to health care professionals to have their thyroids checked.

More than 20 years following the devastating explosion at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986, a spike in thyroid disease is being noted in a number of regions in Russia.

According to Channel One’s “Health,” patients examined in the Tula and Orlov Regions, thyroid cancer has been observed 20 to 70 times above normal levels, the programme quoted Professor Vladimir Parshin as saying.

“We have already seen 36,000 patients in the Tula Region and 32,000 in the Orlov region,” the programme quoted Parshin as saying. Doctors are suggesting that anyone between the ages of 20 and 40 who lived in the Bryansk, Kaluga, Orlov nad Tula regions in 1986 to seek medical examinations.

The programme suggested that those who were between the ages of zero and 18 in 1986 should seek ultrasound examinations of their thyroid glands at local clinic, even if they feel healthy.

Channel One is also conducting a survey called “Echo of Chernobyl,” which purports to reveal how well informed viewers are about the Chernobyl disaster and its results, and whether there is appropriate medical care available where they live.