Volume 7 - Article 5 | Pages 271-306

The Cancer Transition in Japan since 1951

By Omer Gersten, John R. Wilmoth

Print this page  Send this article to a friend  Twitter

 

 
Date received:27 Feb 2002
Date published:06 Aug 2002
Word count:6627
Keywords:cancer, cancer transition, epidemiologic transition, health, health and development, infectious diseases, Japan, mortality, non-infectious disease
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2002.7.5
 

Abstract

The overall trend of cancer mortality in Japan has been decreasing since the 1960s (age-standardized death rates for ages 30-69), though trends differ enormously among various forms of the disease. Cancer mortality was heavily influenced by Japanese postwar economic recovery, which led to improved living conditions and better control of infectious agents known to cause some common forms of cancer (stomach, cervical). However, Japanese wealth and development have also been associated with risky personal behaviors (smoking, drinking) and other conditions, leading to increases in cancers with no known or else very weak links to infection.
This shift away from infectious and toward non-infectious causes of prevalent forms of cancers is called the "cancer transition," by analogy to Omran's "epidemiologic transition." We suggest that the cancer transition described here in the case of Japan must be a part of efforts to revise and update the epidemiologic transition, which should incorporate new knowledge about the role of infection in chronic disease morbidity and mortality.

Author's Affiliation

Omer Gersten - University of California at Berkeley, United States of America [Email]
John R. Wilmoth - University of California at Berkeley, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» On the relationship between period and cohort mortality
Volume 13 - Article 11

» Introduction to the Special Collection “Human Mortality over Age, Time, Sex, and Place: The 1st HMD Symposium”
Volume 13 - Article 10

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» The mystery of Japan's missing centenarians explained
Volume 26 - Article 11    | Keywords: Japan, mortality

» Mortality in Catalonia in the context of the third, fourth and future phases of the epidemiological transition theory
Volume 20 - Article 8    | Keywords: epidemiologic transition, mortality

» A systematic literature review of studies analyzing the effect of sex, age, education, marital status, obesity, and smoking on health transitions
Volume 20 - Article 5    | Keywords: health, mortality

» Does the recent evolution of Canadian mortality agree with the epidemiologic transition theory?
Volume 18 - Article 19    | Keywords: epidemiologic transition, mortality

» The implications of long term community involvement for the production and circulation of population knowledge
Volume 17 - Article 13    | Keywords: health, mortality