New cancer cases dropped in Japan in 2020

An analysis of a large amount of data shows that 70 percent of medical institutions across Japan saw a decrease in the number of cancer diagnoses last year.

The National Cancer Center studied data from 1,040,379 patients, who were diagnosed with cancer at 863 institutions in Japan in 2020.

The center says 594 of the institutions, or 69 percent, reported that fewer new cancer cases were diagnosed in 2020 than there were in 2019. It says that represents a 4.6 percent drop on average.

By cancer type, the figure fell 14 percent for stomach cancer and 4 percent for colorectal cancer, compared to the four-year average recorded during the 2016-2019 period.

The NCC says the numbers apparently declined in 2020 because checkup centers were temporarily closed and people refrained from seeking medical help, due to the coronavirus crisis.

Wakao Fumihiko is an official at the National Cancer Center Institute for Cancer Control. He is urging people to get checkups and see a doctor without delay, if they have any symptoms that they are worried about.