National / Science & Health

Women make up 80 percent of cancer patients aged 20-39 in Japan, study shows

Kyodo

Women account for around 80 percent of all cancer patients in Japan between the ages of 20 and 39, a study by two national medical centers shows.

The study by the National Cancer Center Japan and the National Center for Child Health and Development attributed the result to an increase in breast and cervical cancer.

“We especially want (women) to get properly checked for cervical cancer once they turn 20. We are seeking an effective support system for adolescents and young adults … based on age and gender,” the centers said in the report released Thursday.

The study, the first of its kind, analyzed 62,000 cancer patients aged up to 39 who had contacted 844 medical institutions across Japan in 2016 and 2017.

Children up to age 14 made up 4,500 of the 62,000 patients, with the majority of them boys. Half of the children had leukemia or brain tumors, and a small number were diagnosed with rare cancers.

Of the 56,000 patients who were 20 or older, 44,000 — or 78.6 percent — were women.

While cancer types varied depending on age and gender, an analysis of patients in the very early stage of their diseases showed that cervical cancer accounted for the most cases, followed by breast cancer, the centers said.

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