What is it about?
Significant increase in thyroid carcinoma (TC) incidence was registered after the Chernobyl accident among people exposed as children and adolescents. The quantity of radiogenic cases and dose-effect correlations have been overestimated due the screening-effect, improved medical surveillance after the accident, overdiagnosis, recall bias, dose-dependent selection and self-selection. Besides, some non-exposed patients were counted among Chernobyl victims. Before the accident, the registered incidence of paediatric TC was lower in the USSR compared to other industrialised countries. The screening found not only small nodules but also late-stage TC interpreted as rapidly growing radiogenic cancers developing after a short latent period. Some supposed markers of radiogenic malignancy were in fact associated with a later stage of neoplastic progression. In conclusion, the overestimation of Chernobyl consequences may lead to a biased concept about carcinogenicity of low-dose low-rate exposures, especially from radioiodine.
The following have contributed to this page: Dr Sergei V. Jargin