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J Radiol Prot. 2012 Mar;32(1):N65-9. doi: 10.1088/0952-4746/32/1/N65. Epub 2012 Mar 6.

Thyroid cancer in Ukraine after the Chernobyl accident (in the framework of the Ukraine-US Thyroid Project).

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  • 1State Institution 'V P Komisarenko Institute of Endocrinology and Metabolism', National Academy Medical Sciences Ukraine, Vyshgorodska 69, Kiev 04114, Ukraine.


As a result of the accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, millions of residents of Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine were exposed to large doses of radioactive iodine isotopes, mainly I-131. The purpose of the Ukraine-American (UkrAm) and Belarus-American (BelAm) projects are to quantify the risks of thyroid cancer in the framework of a classical cohort study, comprising subjects who were aged under 18 years at the time of the accident, had direct measurements of thyroid I-131 radioactivity taken within two months after the accident, and were residents of three heavily contaminated northern regions of Ukraine (Zhitomir, Kiev, and Chernigov regions). Four two-year screening examination cycles were implemented from 1998 until 2007 to study the risks associated with thyroid cancer due to the iodine exposure caused during the Chernobyl accident. A standardised procedure of clinical examinations included: thyroid palpation, ultrasound examination, blood collection followed by a determination of thyroid hormone levels, urinary iodine content test, and fine-needle aspiration if required. Among the 110 cases of thyroid cancer diagnosed in UkrAm as the result of four screening examinations, 104 cases (94.5%) of papillary carcinomas, five cases (4.6%) of follicular carcinomas, and one case (0.9%) of medullary carcinoma were diagnosed.

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