Journal of Epidemiology
Online ISSN : 1349-9092
Print ISSN : 0917-5040
ISSN-L : 0917-5040
Original Article
Updated Trends in Cancer in Japan: Incidence in 1985–2015 and Mortality in 1958–2018—A Sign of Decrease in Cancer Incidence
Kota KatanodaMegumi HoriEiko SaitoAkiko ShibataYuri ItoTetsuji MinamiSayaka IkedaTatsuya SuzukiTomohiro Matsuda
ジャーナル オープンアクセス

2021 年 31 巻 7 号 p. 426-450


Background: Unlike many North American and European countries, Japan has observed a continuous increase in cancer incidence over the last few decades. We examined the most recent trends in population-based cancer incidence and mortality in Japan.

Methods: National cancer mortality data between 1958 and 2018 were obtained from published vital statistics. Cancer incidence data between 1985 and 2015 were obtained from high-quality population-based cancer registries maintained by three prefectures (Yamagata, Fukui, and Nagasaki). Trends in age-standardized rates (ASR) were examined using Joinpoint regression analysis.

Results: For males, all-cancer incidence increased between 1985 and 1996 (annual percent change [APC] +1.1%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7–1.5%), increased again in 2000–2010 (+1.3%; 95% CI, 0.9–1.8%), and then decreased until 2015 (−1.4%; 95% CI, −2.5 to −0.3%). For females, all-cancer incidence increased until 2010 (+0.8%; 95% CI, 0.6–0.9% in 1985–2004 and +2.4%; 95% CI, 1.3–3.4% in 2004–2010), and stabilized thereafter until 2015. The post-2000 increase was mainly attributable to prostate in males and breast in females, which slowed or levelled during the first decade of the 2000s. After a sustained increase, all-cancer mortality for males decreased in 1996–2013 (−1.6%; 95% CI, −1.6 to −1.5%) and accelerated thereafter until 2018 (−2.5%; 95% CI, −2.9 to −2.0%). All-cancer mortality for females decreased intermittently throughout the observation period, with the most recent APC of −1.0% (95% CI, −1.1 to −0.9%) in 2003–2018. The recent decreases in mortality in both sexes, and in incidence in males, were mainly attributable to stomach, liver, and male lung cancers.

Conclusion: The ASR of all-cancer incidence began decreasing significantly in males and levelled off in females in 2010.

© 2021 Kota Katanoda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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