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Thyroid cancer risk for 2,000 Fukushima workers: TEPCO

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Children in the Fukushima area ARE getting thyroid cancer NOW. Don't hear much about that do you?

7 ( +10 / -3 )

But, there have been no deaths attributed to the fallout YET! Give it another ten years and we 'could' see this number jump to tens of thousands. - 2,000 workers in a little over two years? That must be some kind of record for employee turn over. Is there anything that TEPCO is doing well at this plant?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Children in the Fukushima area ARE getting thyroid cancer NOW.

Source, please???

3 ( +9 / -6 )

At the end of last year TEPCO stopped providing internal radiation measurement to reduce costs.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

That means 10,000 more already are developing in, knowing TEPCO's rate of releasing timely information. The human casualties from TEPCO's adventure in wrecklessness, which continues still, will end up with huge numbers of casualties.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I see the gov supported deniers are out already. There's many unsubstantiated reports of thyroid cancer already appearing in Fukushima kids but its being denied or statistics are thrown around. Reports buried or such. Give it a few years and the proof will be irrefutable. The residents should've been evacuated because even one death is too many, and those calling for "sources" and "proof" I hope you feel remorse when even one kid dies from thyroid cancer because they could've been given a fighting chance by being evacuated. Why defend the gov and tepco when almost every week a new scandal or problem pops up. The stupidity astounds me that I will be called a scaremonger for caring and daring to ask questions. If there's no danger why is it not being proven? Prove it,show transparency. Give the people a reason to believe.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Following the nuclear disaster, there were limited numbers of Tyvek anti contamination suits and TEPCO have claimed many of the radiation dosimeters were washed away by the tsunami. The plant manager Yoshida sent home all the female nuclear engineers and the very young ones too.

The teams entering the reactor buildings to open the reactors vents, and to pump sea water into the reactors were selected from workers over 40 years because Yoshida thought they wouldn't want anymore children. The teams were given one dosimeter per gang. Those workers were exposed to high levels of radiation.

The Tokyo firemen who rushed to Fukushima to set up pump engines to spray sea water into the spent fuel pools and onto the reactors to try and cool them were also exposed to radiation. The special nuclear team from the SDF and the helicopter pilots dropping water onto the reactors were also exposed.

Many of the contract workers on the site on 3/11 were not informed about what was happening nor that they would be exposed to radiation. Very few of the contract workers have been measured for internal radiation.

The workers at the plant had to deal with the aftermath of the powerful earthquake and tsunami and put up with appalling conditions like only getting one bottle of water every two days. No working toilets and sleeping rough on the floor of the anti quake building. No power for lights which meant pitch darkness when they had to enter the reactor buildings. Numerous powerful aftershocks.

I hope 20 years down the road when some of those develop cancers from the radiation exposure that the likes of TEPCO and the gov't will not be denying responsibility to avoid compensation payments to their families.

14 ( +15 / -2 )

The human casualties from TEPCO's adventure in **wrecklessness", which continues still, will end up with huge numbers of casualties.

Their behavior is absolutely "reckless" especially when you consider that children are involved. Factor in the low birthrate of families and the statistics become very disturbing. Now 90% under-reporting. People are losing patience with this company and more and more think it should be abolished/replaced (a sinking ship).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Wait, weren't they the ones pushing that radiation doesn't pose a cancer threat? Also, unless the "bus"in the photo is a micromachine, I hardly think the caption is accurate.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan is, without a doubt, the new Chernobyl. If any organization like TEPCO is admitting this, you know the REAL numbers are much, much worse.

I shudder to think how many will suffer or die, around the world, due to this fiasco in the next couple decades.

AND Japan has pretty much rigged their economy so they HAVE to fire up all the reactors, or face economy destroying energy costs.

Meanwhile, the LDP is rolling to a sweep. Will the voters EVER learn?

6 ( +9 / -3 )

There were also errors in calculations and differences of interpretation. were believed to have been exposed to enough radiation to cause potential problems.

As usual TEPCO is using the same strategy to release some small numbers to prepare the opinion for the next revision. Everything TEPCO is saying is a either a voluntary lie or mistake by incompetence, it is why I will question all the information they are releasing on their website and press release until a third party (if possible a worldwide team of respected scientist) is allowed to check and confirm everything coming out from them. This Japanese chernobyle has a WW effect and it is not restricted to Japan and to Japanese citizen only, so UN needs to step-in.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Tepco are just stupid, the worst company in Japan by far, bunch of idiots

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I am disgusted with Tepco, but I'm also disgusted with Japanese apathy about the situation.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Children in the Fukushima area ARE getting thyroid cancer NOW.

Source, please???

The sources you ask for are just too numerous to list Shankun! Just go on-line and type on to your browser 'Fukushima'.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@Shankun

Yokatta got you good! :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Thyroid cancer is linked with the amount of absorbed iodine radioisotope (131-Iodine), which fixes itself in the thyroid. It has nothing to do with the quantity of mSV radiation exposure.

The so-called 100 mSV exposure "threshold" is for any kind of cancer, not the thyroid one! But you can have a lot of 131-Iodine with still very low exposure. This is why stable Iodine tablet should have been distributed to saturate the thyroid before the radioisotope is absorbed.

Still so many unscientific articles! Seems that the medias do everything to confuse people and keep them stupid.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Tessa - Well said, very well said.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

in the meanime ....

Naomi Hirose said Friday he has decided to give 100,000 yen in lump-sum money to each management-level employee

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Nichi - I hope 20 years down the road when some of those develop cancers from the radiation exposure that the likes of TEPCO and the gov't will not be denying responsibility to avoid compensation payments to their families.

Hmmm, flashbacks to Minamata anyone? - There was a documentary on the TV last week about Minamata and the governmental cover-up, which brought my mid-30's GF to tears. I was also nearly in tears when she told me she previously knew nothing about it! Sadly, the situation in Fukushima is quite similar for many Japanese people. They just don't seem to care enough to know.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Disillusioned,

yes! the Minamata accident and its outcome was another outrageous handling by a denying gov't.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Without mention of the specific radioactive isotope this article was almost meaningless until Open Minded kindly said "iodine 131" three or so posts above.

Even though it has a decay half life of 8 days, these workers were probably repeatedly exposed to fresh emissions of the stuff.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Zichi,

Following the nuclear disaster, there were limited numbers of Tyvek anti contamination suits and TEPCO have claimed many of the radiation dosimeters were washed away by the tsunami. The plant manager Yoshida sent home all the female nuclear engineers and the very young ones too.

Many dosimeters were rendered unusable because they were immersed in the waters of the tsunami.

Yokatta,

"Children in the Fukushima area ARE getting thyroid cancer NOW."

The sources you ask for are just too numerous to list Shankun! Just go on-line and type on to your browser 'Fukushima'.

Ah, you mean blog 'science', which is usually from people with no relevant qualifications. If you want to think about the reports of a 'thyroid cancer epidemic' then consider that the usual detection method is feeling for a thyroid nodule, but that the children in Fukushima are checked with ultrasound scanners - which have much greater resolution. Also consider that the most common thyriod cancer, papillary thyriod cancer is extremely slow-growing. This means that the excess of thyriod cancers detected are probably ones that would have naturally been discovered much later in the patient's life.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

So that means we have to care NOW for those children will not have one of those thyroid cancer later.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Gogogo-san "Tepco are just stupid, the worst company in Japan by far, bunch of idiots"

I would have chosen the word criminals instead of idiots since I think they all know the truth but use lies to manipulate the public opinion. We (fukushima outsiders) seem to see right though the lies but a lot of good people living in that region cling to Tepcos words of, it is all safe, to keep residence there. I have a good friend that goes ballistic every time there is any talk of radiation around the plant. He has young children and will not hear a word unless it is coming from the gov and feed his children with local produce and all.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The sources you ask for are just too numerous to list Shankun!

There's no such thing as too numerous to list. When you provide a source, you are substantiating your claim. It's normal to give one or several credible sources; it makes no difference whether there are 40,000 or 4 million others. So far you provide nothing. A credible source for your information would go a long way.

Are you going to decline the opportunity a second time?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Two years ago, not two days, not two weeks, two years ago a disaster unfolded...and now the denials continue. When the roofs blew off, in full view broadcast on the BBC. Here there was denial? And this denial continues in the face of the obvious. Again and again what is obvious to all is denied. Where is Basirol? To justify two years of incompetence and mis managed crap that is going to pollute a once beautiful country.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Although little is known about the exact health effects of radiation on the human body, the level is considered by doctors to be a possible threshold for increased cancer risk.

This is surely not completely true, its more grey area talk to lessen liability.

Not all of the approximately 20,000 workers have actually been tested. The numbers have been arrived at by extrapolating the results of tests that have been carried out.

More excuses to cloud the real numbers. Further more, its not just the people in the immediate area that are subjected to more specifically Iodine 131 and the other fission products released, but also those under the plume so the magic question here is, whats the real number of all people effected?

All 1,973 workers now deemed to be at increased risk of thyroid cancer are eligible for an annual thyroid checkup and other health services paid for by the company.

Wow I bet they think they are lucky to get something free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here We can learn that the incidence of thyroid cancer in the general population is just one or two in 12 million children, and, in Fukushima , they (officials) detected 12 positive out of 175,499, and not 12 out of 175,499 of ALL the children :

General population : 0.0000166%

Actually in Fukushima : 0.0068%

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/incidences-of-thyroid-cancer-on-the-rise-among-fukushima-children

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/09/national/fukushima-kids-thyroids-screened/#.Ueo8eY15Vqk

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Citizen2012, as I wrote, the ultrasounds are capable of detecting slow-growing thyroid cancers early, so the cancer rate that should be applied to them is not the usual rate for children, but the age they would normally have had the cancer detected. The adult rate of thyroid cancer is much higher.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The sources you ask for are just too numerous to list Shankun! Just go on-line and type on to your browser 'Fukushima'.

Yes, indeed I had found the data. Here's the data from the exemination: http://toyokeizai.net/articles/-/14243 that indicates that there were 12 cases between 170+k children.

But

here's an interview with Prof Wolfgang Weiss from UNSCEAR who pointed out many factors behind the results of the examination aside from radiation. The first one is that there aren't any comperative data from all around the country. They can't as well compare that to the likes of Chernobyl because of methodology which right now is much more advanced than it was at the time of that accident. Actually the number of cases regarding thyroid misfunctions are even higher in Hong Kong and Korea. Last, but not least, he mentions 'screening effect' because there wasn't a comparative study before the accident and it's imposible to state a base (until it won't look like in epidemic state it seems) and the number of cases might be much higher because of the strict examinations with the cases which could have started before. So it's hard to say that happened because of radioactive contamination after all... That's what science tells. It looks like it will take years to measure the effect as well before coming to conclusions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well, if you have no general standards then it is difficult to compare statistics in both ways but, one should just be curious to see that you have a factor x400 in Fukushima compare to general population in Japan per those articles. In addition this 400x factor is not even based on the general population of all the children in Fukushima but on a fraction only, a selected sample. Yes it could be because of a new ultrasonic tool , but is the accuracy raised by a factor of 400 compare to previous detector ? If that increase is not correlated to recent event then it has to be related to something else or to a more chronic situation like maybe people living every day in the proximity of a nuclear plan managed by TEPCO ? TEPCO may very well have impacted those children thyroid along the course of their business activities in that region since their birth. There is too many questions and there is an urgent need for detailed and serious investigation on this discrepancy in the statistics to get answers.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

search: children thyroid cancer fukushima

Use startpage.com if you don't trust Google

"Thyroid cancer found in 12 minors in Fukushima" Japan Times

"Incidences of thyroid cancer on the rise among Fukushima children" Japan Today

“Unexpectedly high” number of thyroid cancers in Fukushima children" Enenews

"Fukushima – 27 children have developed thyroid cancer so far" Nuclear-news.net

"Fukushima kids have skyrocketing number of thyroid abnormalities" RT

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Okay, Kakurenbo, looking at some of your links:

We can dismiss Nuclear News as a waste of space.

In the Japan Times link, there are couple of crucial sentences: "Researchers at Fukushima Medical University, which has been taking the leading role in the study, have said they do not believe the most recent cases are related to the nuclear crisis. They point out that thyroid cancer cases were not found among children hit by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident until four to five years later." In other words, not necessarily the cancer increase related to 3/11 that people are looking for.

Enenews: are just passing along a story from Asahi. But Asahi is saying: "Health experts are at odds on whether radiation from the Fukushima nuclear accident led to an unexpectedly high occurrence rate of thyroid gland cancer among children in Fukushima Prefecture."

It's quite hard to find out what Enenews is. Never heard of them before, no Wikipedia entry, and only able to find this:

http://www.nuc.berkeley.edu/forum/218/who-behind-enenews.2011-06-14

So, Asahi, the originator of the story: reputable news source. Enenews: probable waste of space. Story: equivocal.

The meatiest story seems to be RT, and definitely they used the most eyecatching headline. Whether to believe it: no idea.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

TEPCO are responsible for the cancers that will kill many children. The government are also responsible . Neither did or have done enough to prevent the knock on effects that have resulted from a pathetic culture reliant on cash and graft. No one is responsible? If that is a national trait then the future looks bleak.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Of course, because of this disaster many people will develop cancer, but it will be difficult to say how many of these cases will be actually linked to it. It's what is happening with Chernobyl: there are not exact numbers eeven after 27 years. I'm completely against nuclear power, because when a nuclear disaster happens, you lose a piece of our precious Earth for many, many, many years. Anyway, we should consider that our lifestyle is completely wrong overall. What are we doing for this problem?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2013/jul/10/air-pollution-lung-cancer-heart-failure

Very little. And it's not like a cancer caused by air pollution is less bad than a cancer caused by radiations.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TEPCO is symbolic of Japan itself - deny deny, hide everything, and pretend nothing is wrong, and no-one ever talks about anything bad and the people accept their government's position like sheep. Just look at the fact that they opened the beaches around Fukushima. Is that a normal thing to do in a normal country? The truth is, Fukushima is over 10 times worse than Chernybol, and off of Japan itself will be unlivable in few short years, as the nuclear pollution expands throughout Japan. In few years, Japan will experience a mass exodus rush out of the country involving tens of millions. They will need to find new countries to live in. And Japan will need a lot of international help.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Children in the Fukushima area ARE getting thyroid cancer NOW. Don't hear much about that do you?

You will, Oscar, you will.

Probably in about 10 years time. It has only taken them 2 years to start admitting the radiation leaks and cancer risks.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

^ it took Chernybol, 5 years for the nuclear effects to show in the populations around north eastern Europe. Fukushima is only 2 years old. In 3 years time, Japan can try to hide and pretend, but they will not be able to hide them because the scale of damage will be just too large to hide - considering that Japan's population density is much higher than the areas around Chernybol. It's absolute travesty that they're trying to hold the Olympics, and they're exporting their faulty nuclear technology, to export more disasters to other countries around the world.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@Shankun you asked for a source here is one!!!

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/06/05/national/fukushima-survey-lists-12-confirmed-15-suspected-thyroid-cancer-cases/#.UeqXWcsayK0

Here IS a link showing that kids ARE getting thyroid cancer now!!!

Of course the workers are at risk!!! Everyone that works there or in the clean-up aria is at risk!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Thyroid cancer is linked with the amount of absorbed iodine radioisotope (131-Iodine), which fixes itself in the thyroid. It has nothing to do with the quantity of mSV radiation exposure

True. That was the initial figures reported to WHO which is the presence as well as the measurement of iodine radioisotope. The latest figure is based on the presence and amount of exposure to cesium, then calculate the possible exposure to iodine radioisotope based on the assumed ratio. In other words, the latest figure, is in essence, an abundance of caution which is good news for many more are now entitled to annual thyroid examinations.

But of course, the media won't spin it towards that direction.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Soviet Union did not immediately initiate a monitoring regime under which an increase in cancer could have been detected, so it is unclear when the incidence actually increased. Four years seems to be commonly mentioned. But such a figure emanates from data collected and then permitted release to the world by the government of the Soviet Union. Some sources, using Soviet data that the WHO cites, suggest evidence of an increase from the third year:http://www.rri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/NSRG/Chernobyl/JHT/JHT9602.html

Regarding the supposed threshold exposure for cancer in children:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/chernobyl-still-causing-cancer-in-british-children-475263.html

"And scientists have found rates of thyroid cancer in children in Cumbria, the worst-affected part of England, rose 12-fold after the catastrophe - and blame fallout from the radioactive cloud that spread from the stricken reactor. This confounds government assurances at the time that the radiation in Britain was "nowhere near the levels at which there is any hazard to health".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dozens of workers at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant were exposed to radiation levels higher than those registered in their personal records, according to a health ministry investigation. Misleading information was kept in at least 63 cases. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303020048

The latest study showed that doses topped the 100-millisievert mark in 1,973 workers. In one worker, the estimated thyroid gland dose increased by more than 1,000 millisieverts during the review. http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201307190080

By Mar. of this year, TEPCO hadn't submitted to the gov't the radiation exposure levels of 21,000 workers, something its required to do by law.

The WHO investigation into radiation exposure in Fukushima which released a report in Feb. this year didn't investigate the exposure of nuclear disaster workers.The WHO investigation said that cancer risks —for those living near the plant—had risen.

The nuclear disaster will be about "radiation" for many tens of decades to come.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Regarding the supposed threshold exposure for cancer in children:

http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/chernobyl-still-causing-cancer-in-british-children-475263.html

"And scientists have found rates of thyroid cancer in children in Cumbria, the worst-affected part of England, rose 12-fold after the catastrophe - and blame fallout from the radioactive cloud that spread from the stricken reactor. This confounds government assurances at the time that the radiation in Britain was "nowhere near the levels at which there is any hazard to health".

Also in Italy there were some cases of cancer related to Chernobyl for sure, but we'll never know the real numbers. Sadly, radiations don't know national borders. This is why some people who live in countries near Japan and hate it, shouldn't enjoy the ongoing nuclear disaster. It's really stupid.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Citizen2012

Well, if you have no general standards then it is difficult to compare statistics in both ways but, one should just be curious to see that you have a factor x400 in Fukushima compare to general population in Japan per those articles. In addition this 400x factor is not even based on the general population of all the children in Fukushima but on a fraction only, a selected sample. Yes it could be because of a new ultrasonic tool , but is the accuracy raised by a factor of 400 compare to previous detector ?

First, you are getting your information from Rocketnews. They say 1 or two cases per 12 million kids, Professor Tomohiro Matsuda and his colleagues give an incident rate of around 0.6 per 100,000 children.

http://jjco.oxfordjournals.org/content/41/1/139.full.pdf

Rocket news has a figure 36 to 72 times smaller than that in a scientific paper on Japan's cancer rate. So their 400x factor drops to the range 11 to 5.5 times greater.

Fukushima kids are being checked with Ultrasonic Scanners, as opposed to the normal method, where the thyroid nodule is felt (palpable). Palpable detection is around 5%. With 7.5 MHz Ultrasound scanners you can get around 33%, and with 13 MHz ones 67%. Assuming the latest tech is being used that's around 13 times greater detection rate than just feeling for a nodule. The Rocket news factor now disappears.

This fits with the fact that there has been no obvious professional worry over the rates coming out of Fukushima. Backing this up was a check in Aomori, Yamanashi and Nagasaki which found little difference between the 3 areas and Fukushima.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201303090076

I'll start to worry if the editors of the BMJ, Journal of Radiation Protection, Nature, Science, or any such august publications express concern.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Nooooo... says, Yoshida Masao, the hero who died saving Japan from a nuclear disaster which could have been much worse.

First of all I'm against publishing new interviews with the people who can't talk anymore. That's the first thing. The second thing - do you want me to translate what Mr Yoshida said? lol, he talked about hypothetical situation to show how much risk there was (which applies to every nucear power station as well). He said that there were 6 reactors in Fukushima I and four in Fukushima II ten km south and that if one of the reactors would get out of control no one could stop the chain reaction and all of them gone rampart (deshou). This didn't happened thanks to such brave men like MR Yoshida himself.

But that was nice try. This time it turned against you it seems ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I wouldn't exactly care if Japanese were just hurting only themselves, but since they're hurting everyone, I have the right to speak up and criticize, because this negligence by Japan is also hurting me and my family as well.

I got the feeling you are hoping that this disaster becomes more serious, to be honest, even though it could influnce your country. Anyway, you write also in tons of topics not related to this tragedy, and you always bash Japan. You should ignore this site, it would be better for you, and for many of us, who dislike blind haters.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sorry, but half - split period of radioactive vaste is from 5 to 10 years. For this influence will asset later, . . .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, but half - split period of radioactive vaste is from 5 to 10 years. For this influence will asset later, . . .

Every isotope has got it's own t1/2 and the data is collected in thick books that you Mr had never had in your hands it seems from your reply with all due respect...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Readers, please stay on topic. Chernobyl is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shankun you asked for a source here is one!!! Here IS a link showing that kids ARE getting thyroid cancer now!!!

And your link went back to the JT story already linked earlier in the thread.

So we've quickly gone from "too many sources to mention" to a handful of links to stories that do not actually show huge increases in thyroid cancer. They're also very short, so lacking a lot of the detail that would help someone really understand what the figures are showing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

They need to distribute the medicine to avoid risk of cancer.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Not all of the approximately 20,000 workers have actually been tested. The numbers have been arrived at by extrapolating the results of tests that have been carried out.

Another false reporting by AFP. 19,592 workers were tested but only 522 showed measurable presence of Iodine radioisotope of which 178 had levels of 100 mSV. The latest figure is based on the assumption that the presence/measurement could be inaccurate so they took the cesium levels from the same test and calculated the possible Iodine radioisotope level based on an assumed ratio of the two.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Thyroid cancer risk for 2,000 Fukushima workers: TEPCO

Well no sh*t Sherlock. You can bet your bottom dollar that when people do start showing symptoms of the fallout, they will be discriminated against as they are evidence of Japans great shame, that the nation wants to forget. Even at my work if any foreign customers raise any questions about Fukushima, the locals answer "there's no problem".

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Since day one from Shizuoka to Miyagi were put at higher risk but since not enough monitoring stations existed, it is not possible to calculate the risk. With the continuing problems at Fukushima, it is even harder to quantify the risk since fish in the ocean swim free. No one is monitor that either. Because of Chernobyl, wild boar in Germany still can't be eaten, nor can wild boar in Fukushima. This may be a much more destructive event for Japan than the atomic bombings. The bombing may have killed more people but it was a quick single event of a defined area. This is an on going event for decades and it still can get worse. Also, this was a preventable event that was caused by greed. TEPCO know the problem with the seawall for years and so did the government. Neither wanted to address the problem and now they have a cancerous mess.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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