In an article titled Japanese Woman Breaks Silence on Fukushima-related cancer, published by CBS News on June 7, 2016, a Japanese woman speaks out against the Japanese government’s denial of ties between thyroid cancer and the radiation that spewed from Fukushima Dai-ichi power plant in 2011. In this article, Japan is described as a “rigidly harmony-oriented society.” The author continues by saying, “Even just having cancer that might be related to radiation carries a stigma in the only country to be hit with atomic bombs.” Because of this stigma, CBS states that the Japanese government claims the increased rate of thyroid cancer in their country is attributed to the recent “rigorous screening” process instead of the relation, which has been acknowledged in the medical community, between the disease and radioactive iodine exposure from Fukushima’s nuclear plant. The Japanese woman profiled in this article mentions that many Japanese citizens have misconceptions about cancer, assuming all cancers are fatal, due to a lack of education about the disease. Other testimonials mentioned in this article outline their frustrations with the treatment process in their country.
Education is one of the main goals that the Thyroid Care Collaborative (TCC) is committed to achieving. Through our educational videos, patients are able to gain relevant information, written by clinicians, on treatment and care strategies as well as options. Physicians are similarly able to use our clinical decision making modules as an educational resource to stay current with recommendations made by the American Thyroid Association (ATA). Another main goal of the TCC is to provide users with a research platform. The TCC documents discrete data points for thyroid patients at each encounter, including whether or not the patient has previously been exposed to radiation. This documentation in patient health records will not only help patients and physicians registered in the TCC, but will fuel future research studies based on such information to benefit all thyroid patients around the world.