Group cancer screening began in Japan in 1960 when the Miyagi Prefecture Cancer Society toured the Tohoku region of northeast Japan to screen local residents for stomach cancer, using a ‘mobile clinic’ purchased with funds from the Japan Cancer Society and other organizations. Equipment was later added to screen for uterine cancer. Subsequently the Ministry of Health and Welfare added lung, breast, and colon cancers as targets, and JCS collaborated with these official screening programs. Furthermore, prefectural societies engaged in the fight against cancer, and affiliated to JCS, have established their own screening centers, or conducted screenings together with local medical institutions.

Since its foundation, the prefectural affiliates of JCS (the ‘JCS Group’) have sponsored the screenings of about 300 million people, and this effort has led to the detection of about 340,000 confirmed or suspected cases of cancer.

Across the nation, the JCS Group invites about 12 million people a year, mainly in rural communities, to be screened for cancer. As a result, about 13,000 cancer cases are detected each year. These local societies are independent institutions established to conduct screening for cancer and other diseases. They have joined forces with JCS to fight cancer together.

Charity walk event for supporting patients

Raising public awareness of breast cancer

The goal of the ‘Pink Ribbon Festival’ is to raise public awareness of the importance of early detection, diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer. Seven years after its launch, the festival drew about 1,500 attendees at symposia and more than 13,000 people to various walk events held in Tokyo, Kobe and Sendai cities in 2010.

JCS is shifting its focus from general advocacy to specific inducements to undergo cancer screening. New activities include helping to publicize public health checks by local governments through mobile phone websites and posters at railway stations. At walk-event sites, JCS also provides mobile breast-screening units equipped with mammograms and hands out coupons for free breast screening. Through efforts like these, the festival contributes to the increase in the number of people being screened for breast cancer. In 2011, the festival was also held in Nagoya City.

Doctors give advice to patients
‘Cancer hotline’

Scholarship and workshops for young doctors and nurses
A training program at a US hospital dedicated to cancer treatment

We should first of all know more about cancer

From the standpoint of the private sector, JCS has supported the anti-cancer efforts of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. For instance, JCS holds a variety of workshops and symposia where cancer experts share the most up-to-date remedies with frontline medical professionals in an effort to overcome regional disparities in cancer treatment.

JCS is also developing a consultation expertise training program for cancer survivors and their family members who wish to help cancer patients and their families. Through the program, these ‘peer supporters’ will be able to acquire essential skills, information and relevant disciplines for consultation. The project is sponsored by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.




One out of every two Japanese develops some form of cancer during their lifetime. Although cancer is very close to our everyday life, Japanese people do not have enough knowledge about the disease. One of the reasons why the screening rate is so low in comparison with Europe and the United States is a lack of knowledge and information about cancer. That is why substantial cancer education for young people is desperately needed to fight the disease.



Programs for young people