More lying toads on nuclear

Re Fukushima:

Already 16 cases of childhood thyroid cancer have been operated on in children who were cancer free two years prior. Fifty cases of possibly thyroid cancer by biopsy are awaiting surgery.

From their own briefing on the subject:

Although it is not appropriate to compare prevalence obtained by a general population
screening and incidence based on clinical diagnosis

How have they calculated their increase in prevalence? By comparing the result of a general population screening against previous incidence found by clinical diagnosis.

Lying toads, eh?

17 thoughts on “More lying toads on nuclear”

  1. Bloke in Germany in Japan

    Yes, they did. On page 4-5 they state the expected incidence of childhood thyroid cancer in that population at around 1 case per year.

    I concur: thyroid cancer is practically unknown in children, so rare that you probably can’t calculate a reliable population incidence.

    116 cases (even the 16 that cannot be due to increased vigilance) in one small area of Japan is off the scale. You’d have to be a lying toad to not infer causation by the nuclear catastrophe.

  2. I wouldn’t say the incidence isn’t higher, but the methodologies and presentation for the national and local incidences are too different to draw any *scientific* conclusions about what is going on there.

    Don’t get me wrong.. Something causes that higher incidence, and it’s pretty crucial we figure out why and how. There’s precious little data on this kind of disaster as it is, and you can hardly field-test for it.
    But the way Pollyticks and Interests are using this to push their Agendas is… irritating, if not nauseating.

    Like in the linked report, publishing unlinked statistics *and* including unconfirmed and unofficial sources “in neighbouring areas” as fact detracts from any validity the statistics may have.

    And it’s not that damned hard to set up 5 roving units with the same echoscopic equipment and do a decent survey of the surrounding area and reference surveys around Japan.
    Or present decent typology of the neoplasms that are found, given that there’s cancers and cancers..

    I wouldn’t call them lying, but a fair amount of toad is present there.

  3. Bloke in Germany in Japan

    @Grikath, welcome to medicine. We have to live with far less certainty (and make life and death decisions with less certainty) than in almost any other branch of human inquiry that dare call itself scientific. It’s not physics. Literally. Once you’ve observed 18^36 atoms behaving in a closely-defined way you can say with a high degree of certainty what the next one will do. People aren’t atoms, and even in the best case scenario we don’t have 18^36 of them.

    We’re also up against costs (“roving echoscopic units”), ethics (some people won’t want to be rovingly echoscoped), and a number of biases – here screening bias. That the incidence of something will inevitably rise when you go looking for it (or doctors become aware of it as a possibility). Your roving echoscopes will also suffer from low specificity – enhanced by the almost total absence of this disease in the surveyed population you will encounter far more false positives than real cases (causing anxiety, unnecessary invasive procedures and associated costs), and still won’t end up with a useful baseline incidence.

    So, as I said, welcome to medicine. You see a 20-fold increase in a super-rare cancer, known to be a canary for radiation exposure, in people who probably got a heap of radiation exposure, then yes, it is (for everyday values of “is”), unquestionably linked to the fuck-up at Fukushima. The fact we can’t tell you which 5 cases would have happened without the exposure is of no more relevance to this than the fact that you can’t tell me which 5 of 116 unstable atoms will be the next to decay.

  4. or which of thoses cases were caused by the stress of the upheaval of being evacuated from the disaster zone, reinforced by the media pummelling you telling you YER GONNA DIE!!!!

  5. Physicians For Social Responsibilty are a bunch of leftist anti-nuke liars –so I wouldn’t trust them to tell me the time of day.

    The increase is 100-fold according to these claims 3.3 to 333 per million. The PDF breaks up the general Japanese rate for thyroid cancers in 0-19 youth but does not breakdown the age of these “new” cancer sufferers. Yes there are no kids in the 0-9 in the national figs but the rate rises steadily after that and also–looking at some UK graphs (see below) women seem to get this cancer at up to 3+ times the rate of men. That would be a way to get started on twisting the figures

    There would seem to be a number of ways these stats could be distorted–assuming the actual report in Japanese says what the PSR pukes say it does and is not itself a stitch-up.

    Again the search engine gives page after page of PSR websites filled with leftist-sucking shite but any analysis outside the frame of PSRs anti-nuke gasblow is hard to come by.

  6. Bloke in Germany in Japan

    Yes, a 100-fold increase is clearly caused by the presence of leftist scum, not by the one thing we know happened (nuke meltdowns and associated release of radioactive stuff, of note iodine), and the fact that we already know that really causes the incidence of this particular cancer to rise.

    It’s all the cause of leftists, nothing to do with nukes at all, says the 0.0 of a Professor of Leftist Conspiracies Cause Cancer.

  7. Bloke in Germany in Japan

    @jgh,

    In all likelihood, zero. Though no doubt a few strokes and infarcts were brought forward, and traffic deaths resulted.

  8. @BiGiJ : Biologist here.. the molecular/developmental/hard sciencey type. I’m aware of the “never enough data” problem, and the problems/idio(t)syncracies in getting live data from live populations.

    Thing is, if the kids got an unhealthy dose of the wrong iodine isotope, they must have *ingested* it. Through their food. Because that’s the way we get the stuff inside.
    Which is why I’m interested in the breakup by age group for the Fukushima area, which is conveniently *not* represented in the article. It should show a spike corresponding to the disaster.
    There’s something there we’re not being told, and it tickles my paranoïdar.

  9. BiG–before any shouting starts Nuclear Numb-Nuts this report needs checking.

    First at source to ensure that the Japanese material says what they say it says. And the source isn’t a bunch of Japanese leftist liars also. Plenty of them about.

    And then it needs to be looked at by those with stats knowledge and skills.

    Why? Because PSR are a gang of leftist liars with a track record of telling bullshit eco-freak porkies going back decades. Dr Beckmann had a regular succession of articles in AtE newsletter debunking the lying shit they were peddling back in the 80s.

  10. Bloke in Germany in Japan

    @Grikath,

    How would you expect to see a “spike” represented in age-group data? Food will expose everybody, except those born/conceived long enough after the event for decay to have attenuated any measurable effect of exposure.

    There won’t be enough of them that have been around long enough to measure anything in, or even for any measurable disease to develop in Cancer generally takes some time to develop post-exposure, but as a working, experienced, widely-published, PhD from top university, renowned expert in developmental/molecular/hard science stuff, you know that.

  11. So Much For Subtlety

    Bloke in Germany in Japan – “So, as I said, welcome to medicine. You see a 20-fold increase in a super-rare cancer, known to be a canary for radiation exposure, in people who probably got a heap of radiation exposure, then yes, it is (for everyday values of “is”), unquestionably linked to the fuck-up at Fukushima.”

    I am not convinced of that. You find things if you go looking for them. These children will be really well studied. So of course they will find growths that might be cancer. If we decided to test every veteran of the Borneo fighting for prostate cancer, we would probably find a massive incidence. That doesn’t mean fighting in Malaya caused prostate cancer. It would just mean most men that age have it but it is usually benign and doctors don’t bother looking for it.

  12. I haven’t bothered to read all of the sources yet but I am highly skeptical of the 100 fold increase.

    Assuming all the suspicious FNAC cases are to be confirmed as cancer, excluding the single case surgically confirmed to be a benign lesion, the first round screening data yields a prevalence of 333 per million (100 cancer cases per 300,478 participants) for both sexes for thyroid cancer in those 0-18 years old at the time of the accident. (However, the estimated incidence significantly increases with age, as shown in Table 2 below, from 1.2 per million for age 10-14 to 11.2 per million for age 15-19, or even 31.1 per million for age 20-24, and about half of the Fukushima cases are over age 18 at
    diagnosis).” Emphasis added.

    I can’t say if there has been a major breakthrough in thyroid issue diagnosis in the last decade but some tests used to provide 90% false positives. Since the paper’s authors feel that it is safe to assume then I will as well and say that 90% of their cases will end up as false positives. That takes us to a increase of only 10 times instead of 100 time.

    Furthermore this paper uses the baseline of 3.3 case per million which is for 18 and under yet 50% of the cases are in the higher risk age brackets. Again we will make a poor assumption. The risk rate for 19-24 is 10 times that for the lower bracket. Assuming that the sample is age balanced we now have a 2 times increase which could be due to a simple statistical anomaly.

    As a commenter on an internet blog I can make all of the stupid assumptions that I want without justifying them. If I was the author of a research paper I would need to be sure that I explained why the false positive rate is less than 1% instead of the 90% that some claim for thyroid tests. I also would not cherry pick age range based numbers that make it appear Fukushima is more dangerous than it is. Well I would unless someone pays me enough to present flawed arguments.

  13. Bloke in Germany in Hong Kong

    These are confirmed cases following surgical intervention! Therefore they are not false positives from quick and dirty screening.

    Honestly, we have exposure, known mechanism, followed by observation of unexpectedly high incidence of disease – even given the caveats about the baseline disease incidence.

    The only possible motivation to continue denialing in the face of that blatantly obvious causal chain and evidence is that you are a complete idiot incapable of reason.

  14. My motivation for questioning the Fukushima scare stories is the the “greens” have claimed nukes are dangerous my whole live based on lies. Once I learned how radioactive decay actually work the scare stories weren’t nearly as scary.
    Please tell me why in this case I should be scared of nuke plants? I’d love to know some of the lies I was raised with had some validity.

  15. Bloke in Germany in Hong Kong

    @Liberal Yank,

    Where is the scare story in “there is a vast amount of radioactive shite that’s escaped its containment. Most of it, particularly the most nasty stuff is currently a puddle under the reactors, and might be cool enough in 100 years to scrape out of whatever pit it has melted itself into; let’s hope there aren’t any more tsunamis in that time. Some more has been diluted to undetectability in the Pacific, and some other only vaguely-known quantity is lying around in uneven concentrations on some thousands of hectares of peoples’ houses and farms”.

    Whether “it’s safe” or not – you are dealing with human beings, and large areas of the country have been rendered worthless for a long time to come. This nuke has wreaked tremendous economic destruction. Was it nevertheless economically worth having the nuke(s), compared to the alternatives? Maybe the question is easier to answer in the affirmative when it isn’t your uninsurable loss you are sitting on.

  16. The nuke didn’t cause the economic loss. The evacuation is what caused the loss. When we ask why humans evacuated it comes down to anti-nuclear FUD attacks.

    I knew I would find a good debunking of the methods used for this particular study and I did in Science. When using the same testing techniques on Japanese children from other areas there is no statistically significant difference.

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