• cancer;
  • mortality;
  • trend;
  • Joinpoint analysis;
  • Japan


Cancer is one of the major targets of disease control programs in Japan. A Joinpoint regression model was used to analyze the long-term trends of mortality related to overall cancer and the 15 most common cancers based on published data from the National Vital Statistics of Japan between 1958 and 2004. Since 1996, a decline has been seen in overall cancer for both sexes in Japan. Most of the common sites, including cancers of the stomach, colon, liver, gallbladder and lung and leukemia in both sexes, cancer of esophagus in men and rectal and ovarian cancers in women showed a decreasing trend, and cancers of the rectum, pancreas, prostate and urinary bladder and malignant lymphoma in men and cancers of the esophagus and uterus in women leveled off during the most recent period. However, an increasing trend was confirmed for cancers of the pancreas, breast and urinary bladder and malignant lymphoma in women. An effective cancer control program including prevention, early detection and treatment should be implemented to further reduce the cancer mortality, particularly for cancer sites that show higher mortality rates or increasing trends. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.