Population-based survival of cancer patients diagnosed between 1993 and 1999 in Japan: a chronological and international comparative study.

Population-Based Cancer Registry Section, Cancer Information Services and Surveillance Division, Center for Cancer Control and Information Services, National Cancer Center, 5-1-1 Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0045, Japan.
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology (Impact Factor: 1.9). 01/2011; 41(1):40-51. DOI: 10.1093/jjco/hyq167
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The purpose of the present study was to collect data from population-based cancer registries and to calculate relative 5-year survival of cancer patients in Japan. We also sought to determine time trends and to compare the results with international studies.
We asked 11 population-based cancer registries to submit individual data for patients diagnosed from 1993 to 1999, together with data on outcome after 5 years. Although all these registries submitted data (491 772 cases), only six met the required standards for the quality of registration data and follow-up investigation. The relative 5-year survival calculated by pooling data from 151 061 cases from six registries was taken as the survival for cancer patients in Japan.
Relative 5-year survival (1997-99) was 54.3% for all cancers (males: 50.0%, females: 59.8%). Survival figures for all sites changed slightly over the 7-year period, from 53.2% for the first 4 years of the study (1993-96) to 54.3% for the last 3 years (1997-99), however, a major improvement was observed in several primary sites. Some overall survival was lower in Japan than in the USA, but similar to that in European countries. Specifically, survival for uterine cancer, prostate cancer, testis cancer, lymphoma and leukemia was much lower in Japan than in other countries. However, survival was better in Japan mainly for cancers of the esophagus, stomach, colon, liver and gallbladder.
The study suggests an improvement in cancer survival in several primary sites in Japan, which is consistent with the development of treatments and early detection.

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