Surge in cancer cases projected this year


The National Cancer Center predicts 882,200 people will be diagnosed with cancer this year in Japan, while 367,100 people will die of the disease.

The figures compare with a previously estimated 805,236 patients in 2010 and 360,963 actual deaths in 2012, the center said, attributing the increase chiefly to the aging of the population.

The center said this is the first time it has produced projections for a current year, based on data it has gathered since 1975.

“We would like the latest picture of the situation to be used as a reference when thinking about future measures against cancer,” a center official said. It typically requires a few years to compile data for a single year.

The most common type of cancer for 2014 is stomach cancer, estimated to affect 130,700 people. This variety of tumor, however, is on the decline over the long term when the aging factor is discounted, it said.

Lung cancer is the second most common, predicted to hit 129,500 people, followed by colon cancer with 128,500 patients. The center anticipates lung and colon cancers will outpace stomach cancer in patient count in the near future.

Among men, the most common types of cancers are those of the stomach, lung and prostate, in that order. For women it is breast, colon and stomach.

Lung cancer is the most lethal and is projected to kill 76,500 people, compared with 50,300 for stomach cancer and 49,500 for colon cancer.

Hard-to-treat pancreatic cancer ranks fourth in the 2014 death count estimate. It traded places with fifth-ranked liver cancer, which was listed fourth in the 2012 tally.

Pancreatic cancer is on the rise even when excluding the impact of aging, the center said. Diabetes and smoking are considered the main risk factors behind it.