2005 Volume 15 Issue 6 Pages 199-202
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recommended that countries develop national cancer control programs in order to reduce the number of deaths due to preventable cancers. The national cancer control program should be comprehensive and systematic with evidence-based priority-setting and the efficient use of limited resources. In order to provide evidence-based information, cancer surveillance systems must be established with registration as a focus. Cancer registration monitors the incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence of cancers. In Japan, however, cancer registration systems have not been either well developed or standardized until recently. In 2003, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare of Japan launched the Third Term Comprehensive 10-Year Strategy Program for Cancer Control, which gave grants to several projects to enhance the dissemination and standardization of cancer registries. However, the establishment of a cancer registration system is merely the first step in the process to provide a comprehensive surveillance system that leads to a national cancer control program, as proposed by the WHO. To provide the best cancer care services equitably in Japan, cancer surveillance systems should be established without delay.
J Epidemiol 2005; 15: 199-202.