Japan Data

National Registry System in Japan Finds Almost 1 Million New Annual Cancer Cases Diagnosed

Society Health

A new report on statistics gathered under the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare’s National Cancer Registry system shows that in 2016 there were approximately 1 million new cases of cancer in Japan.

A total of 995,132 patients were newly diagnosed with cancer in Japan in 2016. These are the first statistics that have been gathered under the National Cancer Registry system, since it became mandatory for all hospitals to submit data on cancer patients to the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in order to improve the quality of cancer treatment and promote prevention.

Of those new cases, 566,575 were men and 428,499 were women. Men were most affected by stomach, prostate, colon, and lung cancer, while the incidence rate of breast cancer in women accounted for more than 20% of all cases. Colon cancer was the most prevalent type overall, which is thought to be connected with an increasingly western diet.

Cancer Cases by Type and Number of Patients Diagnosed (2016)

Men Women Overall
1 Stomach  92,691 Breast  94,848 Colon  158,127
2 Prostate  89,717 Colon  68,476 Stomach  134,650
3 Colon  89,641 Stomach  41,595 Lung  125,454  
4 Lung  83,790 Lung  41,634 Breast  95,525
5 Liver  28,480 Uterine  28,076 Prostate  89,717

Compiled by Nippon.com based on the National Cancer Registry Summary, published by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

The average number of cancer patients per 100,000 people nationwide was 402; however, by prefecture, there was a difference of approximately 100 patients between the highest incidence rate in Nagasaki Prefecture and the lowest in Okinawa Prefecture. The types of cancer varied by region, with stomach cancer predominant in Tōhoku and the Japan Sea coast, while liver cancer was higher in western Japan. There are plans to analyze the correlation with diet and lifestyle.

Highest and Lowest Cancer Patient Ratios Per 100,000 People by Prefecture

1 Nagasaki 454.9
2 Akita 446.3
3 Kagawa 436.7
4 Hokkaidō 428.2
5 Kagoshima 426.4
43 Shizuoka 378.5
44 Gunma 370.4
45 Nagano 367.6
46 Aichi 367.5
47 Okinawa 356.3

Compiled by Nippon.com based on the National Cancer Registry Summary, published by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Seniors aged 65 years and older accounted for 73.7% of total cancer cases. Significantly, there was a sudden increase in incidences in men over 65. Although cases in women in their sixties and seventies are also increasing, it is a more gradual rise than that for men.

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)