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Int J Clin Oncol. 2018 Dec;23(6):1201-1211. doi: 10.1007/s10147-018-1323-2. Epub 2018 Jul 30.

Current situation of cancer among adolescents and young adults in Japan.

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Department of Pediatrics, Toho University, 6-11-1, Omori-Nishi, Ota-ku, Tokyo, 143-8541, Japan.
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gifu University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-6-1 Yanagido, Gifu, Gifu, 501-1194, Japan.
Department of Breast and Medical University, National Cancer Center Hospital, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045, Japan.
Department of Urology, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, 1-20-1 Handayama Higashi-ku, Hamamatsu, Shizuoka, 431-3192, Japan.
Department of Hematology and Cell Therapy, Aichi Cancer Center, 1-1 Kanokoden, Chikusa-ku, Nagoya, Aichi, 464-8681, Japan.
Department of Musculoskeletal Oncology, National Cancer Center Hospital, 5-1-1, Tsukiji, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 104-0045, Japan.
Department of Palliative Medicine, Osaka City Medical Hospital, 2-13-22, Miyakojima-hondori, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka, 534-0021, Japan.
Children's Cancer Association of Japan, 1-3-12, Asakusabashi, Taito-ku, Tokyo, 111-0053, Japan.
Clinical Research Center, National Hospital Organization, Nagoya Medical Center, 4-1-1 Sannomaru, Naka-ku, Nagoya, 460-0001, Japan.



Cancer is rare among adolescents and young adults (AYA). Affected persons need generation-specific attention and care; however, no nationwide study has investigated the medical care structure for AYA cancer treatment in Japan.


We conducted a nationwide survey of AYA cancer for frequency of AYA patients, type of cancer, medical facilities, and certified cancer professionals. Data were collected from 14,713 patients at 218 Core Cancer Treatment Hospitals.


The average proportion of AYA cancer patients to all cancer patients was 3.6%. The median number of patients aged 15 to 24 years per hospital was small (n = 5, range 1-51). The most frequent primary site of AYA cancer was the cervix uteri, but when cancer in situ was excluded, the hematopoietic malignancies were the most frequent cancer in males and females aged 15-24 years. In the age group 25-39 years, testicular and breast cancers were the most frequent cancers in males and females, respectively. Certified cancer professionals and facilities are necessary for appropriate care of AYA cancer patients, but the availability of such professionals varied greatly among hospitals. Hospitals with few AYA cancer patients were less likely to employ such physicians.


The present findings suggest that medical care for AYA cancer in Japan requires further refinement and a multidisciplinary approach.


Adolescents and young adults (AYA); Cancer care; Multidisciplinary approach; Treatment centralization

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