Aiming to increase cancer screening rate to 50%
While the cancer screening examination rate remains at the level of 20%, based on the “The Basic Plans to Promote Anti-Cancer Measures ” launched by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, we formulated a strategy on how to increase this rate and contributed for the improvement.
Need to improve the cancer screening rate
In 2004, despite the proven fact that cancer screening is effective in reducing cancer mortality rate, cancer screening rate was at the level of 20%, overwhelmingly low compared with other countries. In 2008, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare set a goal of bringing the Japanese citizen’s cancer screening examination rate to 50+% within five years and made a plan for its national movement. We analyzed the challenges that could stand in the way in its deployment and built initiatives.
Continuous and consistent national movement
Major reasons for such low screening rate in Japan were that local governments were not promoting the screening enough and that cancer screening was considered to be someone else’s problem by each individual. Based on our knowledge and expertise from our past successful project “Team minus 6%,” we supported the active collaboration with front runner municipalities, pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies that were actively involved in its PR activities, therewith provided support for continuous and consistent national movement. Specifically, we suggested that they do focus campaign. In this campaign public communication timing was to be synchronized. “Cancer Management Promotion Office,” of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and various other organizations that actively engage in PR activities were to message out together. This created the feeling of unity for the entire citizen movement. Next, by working with pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies, we aimed to raise in-house awareness and provided learning opportunities. This promoted the “understanding” towards the importance of cancer screening among citizens. Finally, designed to foster “understanding” to an “action”, an execution office was established and direct this national movement whilst collaborating with other initiatives ensuring the consistency of the national movement. As a result of these measures, the cancer screening rate as of 2013, five years since 2008, improved to 40% .