Expectations of and recommendations for a cancer survivorship guideline in Japan: a literature review of guidelines for cancer survivorship

Jpn J Clin Oncol. 2019 Sep 1;49(9):812-822. doi: 10.1093/jjco/hyz070.


Background: Optimal cancer survivorship care needs its comprehensive guidelines. We aimed to identify English and Japanese guidelines that include cancer survivorship in their title, the issues highlighted in such guidelines, and any existing oncology practice guidelines in Japan that address these issues.

Methods: This literature review was performed in three stages. First, guidelines published in English or Japanese that included cancer survivorship in the title were identified. Then, the issues that each cancer survivorship guideline addressed were defined. Lastly, Japanese guidelines that include survivorship issues were sought.

Results: Six guidelines published in English addressed 31 cancer survivorship issues. No specific cancer survivorship guideline was available in Japanese. Thirty-four Japanese guidelines mentioned cancer survivorship issues. These guidelines addressed screening/surveillance for detecting recurrence or secondary cancer but did not address coordination of care, implications for practice, or inclusion of family. At present, Japanese guidelines poorly address the issue of promotion of a healthy lifestyle in cancer survivors. Also, poorly addressed were long-term and late effects such as pain, psychological distress, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, cardiovascular effects (including anthracycline-induced cardiac toxicity), sleep disorders, and sexual dysfunction in cancer survivors.

Conclusion: There is a need for guidelines on optimal coordination of care between oncologists and other health care providers to support patients along the cancer care continuum and specifically to encourage a healthy lifestyle as part of cancer survivorship. The development of a comprehensive Japanese guideline that addresses these issues would help to improve the clinical outcome for cancer survivors in Japan.

Keywords: cancer survivorship; guideline; review.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Agents / adverse effects
  • Cancer Survivors / psychology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology
  • Fatigue / chemically induced
  • Fatigue / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Japan
  • Language
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / complications
  • Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Neoplasms / psychology
  • Neoplasms / therapy
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis
  • Pain / etiology
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Sexual Dysfunction, Physiological / etiology
  • Sleep Wake Disorders / etiology
  • Stress, Psychological / etiology


  • Antineoplastic Agents