From the Japan Times, which reports:
A landmark study of cancer diagnoses in Japan has revealed huge regional gaps in incidence rates in what one official said reflected notable differences in lifestyle habits across the country.
According to new statistics for all 47 prefectures, released by the National Cancer Center Wednesday, an estimated 865,000 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2012, up 14,000 from the year before. Men accounted for some 504,000 of the total, while women made up 361,000.
The latest figures offer the most precise picture yet of cancer incidence and deaths across Japan, the NCC said, adding it was the first time every prefecture had submitted data on cancer patients. In last year’s study, 40 prefectures cooperated.
The data show that many prefectures in the Tohoku region and western Japan prefectures along the Sea of Japan coast, such as Akita, Ishikawa, Tottori, Shimane and Fukuoka, have higher than average incidences of cancer. Prefectures including Chiba, Kanagawa and Kagoshima, meanwhile, have among the nation’s lowest cancer rates.
Tomohiro Matsuda, head of the registry section at the NCC, said regional differences in diet, smoking and drinking habits are reflected in the statistics, though a combination of factors comes into play.