Japan has the highest five-year survival rates for people with lung cancer and esophageal cancer, a survey of 71 countries and regions published earlier this year in the British medical journal The Lancet indicates.
However, Japan lags behind the United States and European countries when it comes to the survival rate for blood cancer, according to the survey, which was published in late January.
The study, involving the University of London and other research organizations, analyzed the records of some 37.5 million patients on databases in each country who were diagnosed with cancer over the 15 years from 2000 to 2014.
For many cancers, the five-year survival rates were the highest in regions including North America, Northern Europe and Australia. Between 2010 and 2014, Japan had the highest survival rates for cancer of the esophagus, at 36 percent, and lung cancer, at 32.9 percent. It was also in the leading group for survival from stomach cancer, breast cancer, and cervical cancer.
However, when it came to adult cancers of the blood including leukemia and lymphoid malignancies, and melanoma, a cancer of the skin, Japan ranked further down the scale. There is believed to be a possibility that types of blood cancers found in the United States and Europe differ from those prevalent in Japan.
Tomohiro Matsuda of Japan's National Cancer Center, who took part in the research commented that medical advancements appeared to have lifted the survival rates for esophageal and breast cancer.
"It appears that survival rates increased due to the facts that drug treatment and endoscopic surgery are advanced for cancer of the esophagus, and that treatments tailored to different types of breast cancer have made inroads," he said.