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Eur J Cancer. 1994;30A(6):801-7.

Cancer incidence in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan, 1958-1987.

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Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Honolulu 96813.


The Hiroshima and Nagasaki tumour registries, which have been in operation since 1958, are among the few population-based cancer registries in Japan. This analysis evaluated cancer incidence in Hiroshima and Nagasaki between 1958 and 1987. The overall age-adjusted (World Population Standard) cancer incidence has increased from 217 to 301 per 100,000 among males, and from 176 to 197 per 100,000 among females during the first 30 years of cancer registration. The most recent rates are intermediate to rates in other countries. Despite a gradual decrease, gastric cancer remained the most common malignancy among males and females throughout the surveillance period, accounting for 24% of all cancers by the late 1980s. The rate of liver cancer has increased dramatically among males during the past 20 years, with a 2-fold increase in incidence in the past 10 years alone. The populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki now have among the highest rates of liver cancer in the world. Breast cancer incidence in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in contrast, is among the lowest in the world, although incidence rates have doubled since the 1960s. Other common malignancies include cancers of the lung, colon and rectum among males and cancers of the colon, cervix and lung among females.

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