The young woman had one cancerous thyroid removed, and does not need medication except for painkillers. But she has become prone to hormonal imbalance and gets tired more easily. She used to be a star athlete, and snowboarding remains a hobby.
A barely discernible tiny scar is on her neck, like a pale kiss mark or scratch. She was hospitalized for nearly two weeks, but she was itching to get out. It really hurt then, but there is no pain now, she said with a smile.
"My ability to bounce right back is my trademark," she said. "I'm always able to keep going."
She was mainly worried about her parents, especially her mother, who cried when she found out her daughter had cancer. Her two older siblings also were screened but were fine.
Many Japanese have deep fears about genetic abnormalities caused by radiation. Many, especially older people, assume all cancers are fatal, and even the young woman did herself until her doctors explained her sickness to her.
The young woman said her former boyfriend's family had expressed reservations about their relationship because of her sickness. She has a new boyfriend now, a member of Japan's military, and he understands about her sickness, she said happily.
A support group for thyroid cancer patients was set up earlier this year. The group, which includes lawyers and medical doctors, has refused all media requests for interviews with the handful of families that have joined, saying that kind of attention may be dangerous.
When the group held a news conference in Tokyo in March, it connected by live video feed with two fathers with children with thyroid cancer, but their faces were not shown, to disguise their identities. They criticized the treatment their children received and said they're not certain the government is right in saying the cancer and the nuclear meltdowns are unrelated.
Hiroyuki Kawai, a lawyer who also advises the group, believes patients should file Japan's equivalent of a class-action lawsuit, demanding compensation, but he acknowledged more time will be needed for any legal action.
"The patients are divided. They need to unite, and they need to talk with each other," he told AP in a recent interview.
The committee of doctors and other experts carrying out the screening of youngsters in Fukushima for thyroid cancer periodically update the numbers of cases found, and they have been steadily climbing.
In a news conference this week, they stuck to the view the cases weren't related to radiation. Most disturbing was a cancer found in a child who was just 5 years old in 2011, the youngest case found so far. But the experts brushed it off, saying one wasn't a significant number.
"It is hard to think there is any relationship," with radiation, said Hokuto Hoshi, a medical doctor who heads the committee.
Shinsyuu Hida, a photographer from Fukushima and an adviser to the patients' group, said fears are great not only about speaking out but also about cancer and radiation.
He said that when a little girl who lives in Fukushima once asked him if she would ever be able to get married, because of the stigma attached to radiation, he was lost for an answer and wept afterward.
"They feel alone. They can't even tell their relatives," Hida said of the patients. "They feel they can't tell anyone. They felt they were not allowed to ask questions."
The woman who spoke to AP also expressed her views on video for a film in the works by independent American filmmaker Ian Thomas Ash.
She counts herself lucky. About 18,000 people were killed in the tsunami, and many more lost their homes to the natural disaster and the subsequent nuclear accident, but her family's home was unscathed.
When asked how she feels about nuclear power, she replied quietly that Japan doesn't need nuclear plants. Without them, she added, maybe she would not have gotten sick.