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Division of Cancer Survivorship Research

Miyako Takahashi, Miyako Tsuchiya, Makiko Tomita, Makiko Tazaki, Yoshinori Takata, Kyoko Onozawa, Mayumi Saito


The mission of the Division of Cancer Survivorship Research is to enhance the quality of life of patients with cancer and their caregivers, and to promote social awareness in Japan about cancer survivorship issues.

Our team and what we do

As for academic research, we deal with various psychosocial issues experienced by cancer survivors and their caregivers during and after treatments such as employment, interpersonal relationships, sexuality and fertility, prejudice against cancer, life-style modifications, and unmet needs. In particular, we examine the influence of the Japanese socio-cultural background on living with, through, and beyond cancer, and try to propose countermeasures based on the research findings.

As for activities to promote social awareness toward cancer survivorship, we plan and implement educational programs listed in the education section for the general public as well as healthcare providers.

In addition to the above mentioned activities, Dr. Miyako Takahashi, the Division Chief, has served as a member of "Coexistence of Treatment and Work" council organized by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and contributed in creating a guideline for business people.

Research activities

Research projects that we conducted in 2016 include "cancer and work (both adult and childhood/AYA generations)", "pediatric cancer survivors'sexual development", "creating websites for AYA cancer survivors", "self-care behaviors to prevent lymphedema among female cancer survivors", "cancer stigma", "help-seeking behaviors among male cancer survivors", and so on.

As for research on cancer and work, we analyzed questionnaire responses from working survivors, and revealed correlative factors of the time when they left their jobs after cancer diagnosis. Also, we developed a two-hour seminar program for business people to promote their awareness about supporting employees with cancer. The program's goal is to disseminate the contents of "the guideline for business people to support working cancer survivors", which was published by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare in February 2016.

This year, we conducted two keynote lectures, two symposium presentations, and 13 oral/poster presentations at academic meetings. Also, we published five articles in English, six articles and two books in Japanese.


As for education for academic lectures, we delivered 30 lectures in 2016 in answer to requests from universities, academic organizations, national and local governments, and medical institutions nationwide.

As for promoting social awareness of cancer survivorship, we planned and implemented three lecture series, "Community Center CafÉ", "Gotochi (Local) CafÉ", and "Cancer Survivorship Open Seminar", which were open to the public. The Community Center CafÉ programs were held in a relaxed atmosphere with a cup of tea, consisted of a lecture that takes up various cancer survivorship topics followed by a small group discussion by participants. It provided participants with an opportunity to learn about cancer survivorship issues as well as exchange views with each other. In 2016, we held The Community Center CafÉ two times with 100 participants in total at the Tsukishima Community Center in Chuo ward, where the National Cancer Center (NCC) is located. The Gotochi (Local) CafÉ, which is the other cafÉ program, has the same structure as the Community Center Cafe, but was co-sponsored by our division and healthcare providers from prefectures outside of Tokyo, and focused on high priority survivorship issues within the local community. In 2016, we held the Gotochi CafÉ in Matsumoto, in which 70 people participated. The "Cancer Survivorship Open Seminar", held in the NCC Tsukiji campus, is a lecture series by researchers and focuses more on academic aspects of survivorship issues. In 2016, we held the seminar four times on "parental cancer", "palliative care", "psycho-oncology", and "cancer and caregivers", in which approximately 400 people participated. .

Future prospects

Cancer survivorship research and care practice is indispensable in creating a society in which we can live in peace after having cancer. Our division will conduct research on various cancer survivorship issues and propose a countermeasures for them. As the center of information dispatch and the personnel exchange of survivorship research and care in Japan, we plan to develop activities in cooperation with domestic and international researchers and practitioners.

List of papers published in 2016


1.Tsuchiya M, Takahashi M. Psychosocial Impact of Lymphoedema After Breast Surgery. Current Breast Cancer Reports, 8:47-51, 2016

2.Endo M, Haruyama Y, Takahashi M, Nishiura C, Kojimahara N, Yamaguchi N. Returning to work after sick leave due to cancer: a 365-day cohort study of Japanese cancer survivors. J Cancer Surviv, 10:320-329, 2016

3.Takahashi M. Cancer survivorship: current status of research, care, and policy in Japan. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 46:599-604, 2016

4.Yonemoto T, Takahashi M, Maru M, Tomioka A, Saito M, Araki Y, Tazaki M, Tsuchiya M, Iwata S, Kamoda H, Ishii T. Marriage and fertility in long-term survivors of childhood, adolescent and young adult (AYA) high-grade sarcoma. Int J Clin Oncol, 21:801-807, 2016