One quarter of cancers are discovered in the course of treating other ailments, compared to 8.0% of cases found during in-depth health checks and 7.7% during cancer screenings.
Experts say the findings in the center’s survey of cancer screening bases nationwide stress the urgency for Japan to actively encourage checks for the disease.
“Fewer cancer screenings are carried out in Japan compared to other countries and this is a problem,” Dr. Yutaka Morita, a practicing physician and medical journalist, told weekly magazine Shukan Post. “Rather than treating cancer once its symptoms have begun to show, there are many cases where cancer screening has allowed the cancer to be found while it is still small and can be treated before spreading. It’s important to raise the rate of cancer screening.”
Japan has a cancer screening rate of about 20-30%, according to the OECD.