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Annual Report 2019

Center for Cancer Registries

Takahiro Higashi, Naoyuki Sato, Tomohiro Matsuda, Akiko Shibata, Kumiko Saika, Mariko Niino, Ayako Okuyama, Riko Makoshi, Yoichiro Tsukada, Yoshiko Emori, Rika Nabata, Mika Mizuochi, Yuka Takahashi, Saya Maruyama, Seiya Kondo, Shiho Matsuura, Kayoko Kobayashi, Asako Umeda, Emiko Enjoji, Makiko Inoue, Naoko Takahashi, Saori Uenishi, Masako Hoshikawa, Keiko Imai and Tomoko Kobayashi


 The Center for Cancer Registries is in charge of operating public cancer registries to provide the public with accurate cancer incidence and survival statistics. The Center operates both population-based cancer registries (the National Cancer Registry) and hospital-based cancer registries according to new legislation, the Cancer Registry Promotion Act.

Table 1. Cancer Patient Data in Hospital-Based Cancer Registries
Table 1.  Cancer Patient Data in Hospital-Based Cancer Registries

Table 1. Cancer Patient Data in Hospital-Based Cancer Registries
Table 1.  Cancer Patient Data in Hospital-Based Cancer Registries

The Team and What We Do

1. Population-Based Cancer Registries

 The Cancer Registry Promotion Act of 2013 created a new structure called the National Cancer Registry, which mandates all hospitals in Japan to submit basic data to prefectures when they diagnose new patients with cancer. The Center developed an online National Cancer Registry System (NCRS), through which we collect this information from the 47 prefectures. The system started in 2016 and we reported national incidence in 2017 to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).

 We closely communicate with the prefectures and continuously strive to improve our cancer surveillance system in Japan by holding two-day educational workshops for cancer registrars and administrative officers of prefectures overseeing cancer control in May (86 participants) and December (130 participants). The Population-Based Cancer Registry Database System (PBCRDS), owned by the Center, enables the prefectures to maintain cancer registry data for past years and link them with the current data in the NCRS. Forty-five registries had introduced the PBCRDS as of March 2020. An external audit on information security in cancer registration was performed by commissioning to the cancer registry professional organization. The Center distributes a simplified cancer registry system, “Hos-CanR Lite” to hospitals that submit dates only to the National Cancer Registry.

2. Hospital-Based Cancer Registries

 The Hospital-Based Cancer Registry (HBCR) has become a key component to evaluate cancer care in hospitals and also provided a data frame for population-based registries. Once submitted directly to the Center, the HBCR data helps form a national database of hospital-based cancer registries and generate national cancer statistics geared more towards clinical aspects than population-based cancer registries. The Cancer Registry Promotion Act encourages hospitals specialized in cancer care or playing key roles in the region to operate the HBCR in accordance with the National Guidelines. The National Guidelines state that the Center should set the standards for the HBCR nationwide and produce the national statistics for cancer care so that the patients can choose hospitals and the government can enhance cancer control activities. The HBCR has been performed at 436 designated cancer care hospitals (DCCHs) and 336 others, including 15 designated hospitals for childhood cancer. Individual records for 1,039,193 cancer cases diagnosed in 2018 were collected from 828 hospitals. To implement the 8th edition of the newly published UICC TNM classification rules and the latest version of the SEER multiple primary rules, the Center convened several expert committee meetings to define the detailed rules and standards for the HBCR and educate cancer registrars at the hospitals, then updated and distributed the standardized software “Hos-CanR Next” to incorporate these changes.

 To ensure data quality, we organized a series of education programs for cancer registrars, consisting of 13 one-day continuous education sessions for 1,655 participants and four one-week programs for new applicants for intermediate-level registrar positions. Following the qualification exam 510 beginner-level and 244 intermediate-level cancer registrars were newly certified.

Research activities

 The national cancer survival statistics for 2009-11 were calculated based on the data from 22 prefectural population-based cancer registries. The incidence data of 2017 were published based on the National Cancer Registry, which covers all 47 prefectures, and analyzed in detail by cancer site and age group. The results were published in international academic journals, presented at conferences both in Japan and abroad, and posted on the website in a national report, “Cancer Statistics of Japan”.

 As a routine activity, international comparisons of cancer burden and survival rates were conducted based on the WHO mortality, GLOBOCAN and the cancer registry database. Updated trend analysis of cancer incidence and mortality in Japan was conducted.

 Hospital-based cancer registries are compiled at the national level in the Center. To improve the quality of cancer care nationwide, we produce an annual report for cases diagnosed in 2018. In addition, we developed a web system to determine the number of registered cases in each hospital based on Hospital-Based Cancer Registry data, which can help patients or their families to find a hospital near their home.

 The national database was used extensively in research activities both within and outside the Center, while the Secondary Data Use Review Committee approved six proposals for data use.


 Prefectural cancer registry personnel and hospital-based cancer registrars were trained as mentioned above and in particular, the Center collaborated closely with NCC hospitals to educate intermediate-level cancer registrars.

Future prospects

 We plan activities to improve the operation of the National Cancer Registry (NCR) on an ongoing basis. Working with the National Cancer Center’s International Affairs Section, the Center is building a new relationship with the International Agency of Research on Cancer (IARC) and other overseas institutions based on the bi-institutional memorandum of understandings.

 The hospital-based cancer registries continue to evolve and close monitoring of the care provided to cancer patients in Japan enables better access to quality care. To enable cancer patients and their families to access the hospital information they need efficiently, an interactive web site was launched showing the number of cases involved in each patient’s treatment. The data is used for all aspects of cancer control activities, including hospital designation, organization of a care structure for rare cancer patients and quality monitoring of care.

List of papers published in 2019


1. Saito E, Goto A, Kanehara R, Ohashi K, Noda M, Matsuda T, Katanoda K. Prevalence of diabetes in Japanese patients with cancer. J Diabetes Investig, 2020

2. Saito E, Hori M, Matsuda T, Yoneoka D, Ito Y, Katanoda K. Long-term Trends in Prostate Cancer Incidence by Stage at Diagnosis in Japan Using the Multiple Imputation Approach, 1993-2014. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 29:1222-1228, 2020

3. Yazaki S, Yamauchi T, Higashi T. High hepatitis B virus screening rate among patients receiving systemic anticancer treatment in Japan. Int J Clin Oncol, 25:1327-1333, 2020

4. Rikitake R, Kamitani S, Takahashi M, Higashi T. Workplace Support Systems in Small- and Medium-Sized Companies for Employees Receiving Medical Treatment in Japan. Global Journal of Health Science, 12:91-102, 2020

5. Takayama T, Yamaki C, Hayakawa M, Higashi T, Toh Y, Wakao F. Development of a New Tool for Better Social Recognition of Cancer Information and Support Activities Under the National Cancer Control Policy in Japan. J Public Health Manag Pract, 2020

6. Okuyama A, Barclay M, Chen C, Higashi T. Impact of loss-to-follow-up on cancer survival estimates for small populations: a simulation study using Hospital-Based Cancer Registries in Japan. BMJ Open, 10:e033510, 2020

7. Okuyama A, Higashi T. Usability of Clinical Information in Discharge Summary Data in the Diagnosis Procedure Combination Survey for Cancer Patients. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 17:521, 2020

8. Motoyama S, Maeda E, Yano M, Yasuda T, Ohira M, Kajiyama Y, Higashi T, Doki Y, Matsubara H. Esophagectomy performed at institutes certified by the Japan Esophageal Society provide long-term survival advantages to esophageal cancer patients: second report analyzing 4897 cases with propensity score matching. Esophagus, 17:141-148, 2020

9. Nagumo Y, Kojima T, Shiga M, Kojo K, Tanaka K, Kandori S, Kimura T, Kawahara T, Kawai K, Okuyama A, Higashi T, Nishiyama H. Clinicopathological features of malignant urachal tumor: A hospital-based cancer registry data in Japan. Int J Urol, 27:157-162, 2020

10. Kanemura H, Tamura T, Nishimura N, Kobayashi D, Higashi T. Thymic epithelial tumor treatment in Japan: analysis of hospital cancer registry and insurance claims data, 2012-2014. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 50:310-317, 2020

11. Saika K, Matsuda T. International comparison of lip, oral cavity and pharynx cancer incidence. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 50:479-480, 2020

12. Matsuda T, Saika K. Age-specific cancer incidence rate in the world. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 50:626-627, 2020

13. Gatellier L, Matsuda T, Sabapathy K, Dai M, Dewi LKM, Huong TT, Kardinah K, Thuan TV, Park JB, He J, Nansalmaa E, Luvsandorj B, Hwang WYK, Sengar M, Pramesh CS, Suzuki T. An Asian Body to Tackle Cancers in Asia - The Asian National Cancer Centers Alliance. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 21:1207-1212, 2020

14. Harashima S, Fujimori M, Akechi T, Matsuda T, Saika K, Hasegawa T, Inoue K, Yoshiuchi K, Miyashiro I, Uchitomi Y, Matsuoka YJ. Suicide, other externally caused injuries and cardiovascular death following a cancer diagnosis: study protocol for a nationwide population-based study in Japan (J-SUPPORT 1902). BMJ Open, 9:e030681, 2019

15. Nakagawa-Senda H, Hori M, Matsuda T, Ito H. Prognostic impact of tumor location in colon cancer: the Monitoring of Cancer Incidence in Japan (MCIJ) project. BMC Cancer, 19:431, 2019

16. Nishimura A, Nishimura K, Onozuka D, Matsuo R, Kada A, Kamitani S, Higashi T, Ogasawara K, Shimodozono M, Harada M, Hashimoto Y, Hirano T, Hoshino H, Itabashi R, Itoh Y, Iwama T, Kohriyama T, Matsumaru Y, Osato T, Sasaki M, Shiokawa Y, Shimizu H, Takekawa H, Nishi T, Uno M, Yagita Y, Ido K, Kurogi A, Kurogi R, Arimura K, Ren N, Hagihara A, Takizawa S, Arai H, Kitazono T, Miyamoto S, Minematsu K, Iihara K. Development of Quality Indicators of Stroke Centers and Feasibility of Their Measurement Using a Nationwide Insurance Claims Database in Japan — J-ASPECT Study —. Circ J, 83:2292-2302, 2019

17. Miura S, Miyata R, Matsumoto S, Higashi T, Wakisaka Y, Ago T, Kitazono T, Iihara K, Shimodozono M. Quality Management Program of Stroke Rehabilitation Using Adherence to Guidelines: A Nationwide Initiative in Japan. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 28:2434-2441, 2019

18. Rikitake R, Tsukada Y, Ando M, Yoshida M, Iwamoto M, Yamasoba T, Higashi T. Use of intensity-modulated radiation therapy for nasopharyngeal cancer in Japan: analysis using a national database. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:639-645, 2019

19. Matsumura Shinji, Ozaki Makiko, Iwamoto Momoko, Kamitani Satoru, Toyama Manabu, Waza Kazuhiro, Higashi Takahiro, Bito Seiji. Development and Pilot Testing of Quality Indicators for Primary Care in Japan. JMA Journal, 2:131-138, 2019

20. Higashi T, Watanabe T, Iwamoto M, Mikami M. The Use of Sensitive Imaging Modalities for Cervical Cancer Staging in Japan. Global Journal of Health Science, 11:75-82, 2019

21. Saika K, Matsuda T. International comparison of uterine cancer incidence by detailed sites. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:890-891, 2019

22. Niino M, Matsuda T. Testis cancer incidence rates in the world from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents XI. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:199-200, 2019

23. Niino M, Matsuda T. Incidence rates of liver cancer in the world from the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents XI. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:693-694, 2019

24. Matsuda T, Inoue M. Moving towards tailored, region-specific cancer-control measures in China. Lancet Glob Health, 7:e175-e176, 2019

25. Inoue S, Ito H, Hosono S, Hori M, Matsuda T, Mizuno M, Kato K, Matsuo K. Net Survival of Elderly Patients with Gynecological Cancer Aged Over 75 Years in 2006-2008. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev, 20:437-442, 2019

26. Okuyama A, Saika K. International comparison of colorectal and anus cancers incidence by detailed sites. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:1065-1066, 2019

27. Niino M, Matsuda T. International comparison of skin cancers incidence by detailed sites. Jpn J Clin Oncol, 49:1176-1177, 2019