There is probably no country that can say they don’t have to deal with breast cancer as one of the country’s health concerns. Japan unfortunately has a high rate of breast cancer with the stats showing that about 90,000 women are stricken with this form of cancer. Added to this, it has been determined that anywhere between 5 to 10% of these cases are based on genetic factors. It has been listed as the most prominent cause of death in Japan for women between the ages of thirty and sixty four. Statistics for 2016 show that there were 14,015 women who died from breast cancer.
To bring awareness to this health condition Japan during the month of October focuses heavily on breast cancer awareness. The month of October is recognized by many countries as the month to put forth great effort in creating awareness and education for this disease. This activity is referred to as BCAM. It is sphere headed by many prominent cancer organizations.
In Japan some of the ways they become involved in this event is by launching the campaign by bringing it into awareness by lighting up prominent landmarks and buildings with the color pink.
Greater Preventative Steps Being Taken
With this form of cancer being such a leading cause of death among the women of Japan, and with a high rate of it being genetic, the Health Ministry of Japan is allowing preventative mastectomies to be performed. This is only applicable to those women who are deemed to be of high risk based on their genetic factors. It is indicated that a double mastectomy can lower the risks of the spread of this cancer but there is nothing to indicate a lower mortality.
For some women who have had or are dealing with breast cancer in one breast this preventative step may be good news for them. There are many women who have had a single mastectomy and live in constant fear that it will return in the other breast. There have been studies that strongly show that having a double mastectomy does not increase the chances of survival. This is in comparisons done with women who had the tumor only removed.
The decision to have the preventative mastectomy in Japan is one that is being left up to the woman to decide. It is not a decision that is to be made by the oncologist as some will differ in their opinions. It is also a decision that has to be made carefully as there are additional risks that come with the surgery.