Clinical and epidemiological study of skin cancer in Japan

Masamitsu Ichihashi, Masato Ueda, Tooru Nagano, Keishi Araki, Yoshiyuki Ohno, Santoso Cornain

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3 Citations (Scopus)


In order to determine the prevalence and incidence of skin cancer, and pre-cancer lesions (actinic keratosis) of Japanese we started skin cancer examination at Kasai City (34°56' N) and Ie Island (25° 10' N) in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Annual solar radiation in Ie island is expected to be highest in Japan. Here, we will present the results of skin cancer examination in both Kasai City and Ie Island during 1992 through 1997, and during 1993 through 1997, respectively. In Kasai City, a total of 128 actinic keratosis (AK), 3 of basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and one of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) were identified clinically and histopathologically. While, a total of 130 AK, 9 of BCC and 2 of SCC were identified in Ie Island. The annual prevalence of AK per 100,000 population in Kasai city during 1992 through 1997 were 413.4, 291.2, 203.7, 86.8, 123.1 and 101.8 respectively. However, those of AK in Ie Island during 1993 through 1997 were 1,159.4, 572.8, 1,014.3, 988.9 and 612.5 respectively. These values were significantly higher than those of Kasai City. The annual age-adjusted odds ratios for AK was 2.79, 1.38, 2,45, 2.39 and 2.01 respectively. The mean prevalence of non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC BCC and SCC) in Ie island during study period was 50.0 for men and women. The total cases of BCC and SCC in Kasai City during 1992 through 1997 were 3 and 1 respectively, too small to calculate prevalence and incidence of NMSC. Subjects with seborrheic keratosis (SK) over 6 showed a higher prevalence of AK than those with seborrheic keratosis under 5. These results indicate a strong inverse relationship between prevalence and incidence of pre-cancer and latitude among Japanese. Further, NMSC prevalence in Ie Island is as high as that of Japanese who live in Hawaii, suggesting a higher incidence of NMSC of Japanese even in the northern part of Japan when ozone severely decreased in the future. Skin type I and subjects with multiple (SK) were suggested to be risk factors for skin cancer of Japanese.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Journal of Indonesia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2000


  • Actinic keratosis
  • Epidemiology
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer
  • Risk factor
  • Ultraviolet light


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