Objective: To investigate the incidence of renal cell carcinoma, classified by sex, age group and region in Japan, following a 5-year interval after a previous survey performed in 1997. Methods: The survey was conducted between the beginning of January 2002 and the end of December 2002. A total of 1288 institutions in all 47 prefectures throughout Japan were requested to register cases. Results: There were 7405 persons with renal cell carcinoma, consisting of 5063 males and 2342 females. Crude incidence rates were 8.2 and 3.6 per 100 000 population for men and women, respectively. Incidence rates in the Hokkaido region were highest followed by the Shikoku region. Conclusions: Despite incidence of renal cell carcinoma increasing to 7405 from the 6358 persons in 1997, statistical data reported by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare indicate that rising age-adjusted death rate for this tumor reached a ceiling in the past decade. Early detection may have contributed to this current trend; however, further epidemiological research is required to fully elucidate this.
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