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The World in Medicine
November 14, 2001

Chernobyl's Legacy

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JAMA. 2001;286(18):2225. doi:10.1001/jama.286.18.2225-JWM10011-5-1

The 1986 explosion of a nuclear reactor in the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl is linked to nearly 2000 cases of thyroid cancer, making that total the largest number of human cancers to be associated with a known cause on a specific date, researchers reported at ECCO 11, the European Cancer Conference held last month in Lisbon, Portugal. The number of cases is expected to continue to rise.

"Four years after the accident, an excess of thyroid cancers was noted among children who had been exposed to fallout from the disaster," said Dillwyn Williams, MD, of Cambridge University, England. "That increase has continued, and new cases are still being seen in those who were children at the time of the accident."

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