Mammograms Identify 20% Of Breast Cancer Cases In Japanese Women

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Breast Cancer Cases Among Japanese Women

Mammograms have identified only 20% of breast cancer cases among Japanese women, according to a survey recently released by the Japanese Breast Cancer Society, Japan's Daily Yomiuri reports. Only 10% of Japanese women undergo regular breast cancer screenings, and about 9,800 women die of the condition annually, making it the leading cause of death among women ages 30 to 50, according to the Daily Yomiuri.


For the survey, researchers collected data on about 14,800 patients who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer from 226 cancer treatment hospitals in Japan. The survey found that 73.8% of patients had discovered the cancer on their own during self-examinations and that 14.7% did not have any symptoms.

According to the Daily Yomiuri, early stage tumors, defined as two centimeters or less, were discovered in 45% of the survey participants. About 43% of the participants were found to have tumors between 2.1 centimeters and 2.5 centimeters. Hiroshi Sono, a professor at Kawasaki Medical School Hospital's Department of Breast Thyroid Surgery, said that the average size of a tumor detected through self-examination is about two centimeters. Sono said that regular mammograms are important to detect smaller tumors.

Cancer had spread to the lymphatic system in about one-third of breast cancer patients who participated in the survey, according to the Daily Yomiuri. Patients whose cancer has not spread to their lymph nodes have a 10-year survival rate of 90%, compared with 70% for those whose cancer has spread (Daily Yomiuri, 6/17).

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