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Cancer Causes Control. 1998 Dec;9(6):631-6.

Effects of mass screening for neuroblastoma on incidence, mortality, and survival rates in Osaka, Japan.

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Osaka Cancer Registry, the Department of Cancer Control and Statistics, Osaka Medical Center for Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases, Japan.



To evaluate the effects of mass screening for neuroblastoma, time trends of incidence, mortality, and survival of neuroblastoma in Osaka Prefecture were analyzed.


Data for this analysis was obtained from the population-based Osaka Cancer Registry. Time trends of incidence and mortality rates were analyzed by calendar year and by birth cohort. Survival was compared between before and after the introduction of systematic screening.


From 1970-94, 457 cases of neuroblastoma and 182 deaths from neuroblastoma were observed in Osaka. The annual age-standardized incidence rate per million children increased from 7.5 in 1970-84 to 20.5 in 1985-94, while the mortality rates did not differ between these two periods. Analysis by birth cohort showed that the incidence rate at 0 year of age per 100,000 live births increased from 2.30 in 1970-79 (unscreened) to 19.80 in 1988-89 (screening by high-performance liquid chromatography, HPLC). The incidence rate in children 1 and 2-4 years of age also increased according to the introduction of HPLC. The mortality rate in children 1-4 years of age per 100,000 live births slightly decreased from 3.87 in 1970-79 to 3.30 in 1988-89, which was presumed to be derived from the improvement in survival due to the progress in treatment.


It is strongly suggested that mass screening for neuroblastoma causes harm because of overdiagnosis, and it has little effect on decreasing the incidence and the mortality of neuroblastoma at 1-4 years of age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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