• Kyodo News


The government Friday released a basic plan to combat cancer, including measures to reduce the cancer death rate in people under 75 by 20 percent in the next 10 years.

According to the plan, each prefecture will be required to draft their own plan to fight cancer by next spring that takes into account regional differences.

The plan comes on the heels of a cancer-fighting law that took effect in April.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry wrote the draft, which was then discussed by a panel that included people with cancer, their families, doctors and cancer experts.

The plan also sets a goal of “reducing the pain of the patients and families as well as maintaining and improving their quality of life.”

It also calls for focus to be put on several areas that it says require more attention, including the promotion of radiation and chemical treatments, the cultivation of specialists, and offering palliative care from the early stages of treatment.

The plan includes numerical targets. It says all doctors working with cancer patients should have a basic knowledge of palliative care within 10 years.

It also calls for raising the percentage of people screened for breast and colon cancers to 50 percent or more in five years, and reducing the percentage of smokers among people under 20 to 0 percent in three years.

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