Long-term uptake rate of a breast cancer screening program in Fukushima, Japan, following the 2011 Triple Disaster: a retrospective observational study

Sci Rep. 2023 Apr 24;13(1):6654. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-33717-8.


Little is known about how crises might affect the long-term uptake of breast cancer screening programs. This study aimed to clarify the long-term trend of breast cancer screening program uptake in Minamisoma City following the 2011 Triple Disaster in Fukushima, Japan (earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster), and to evaluate the factors associated with this uptake. This study retrospectively analyzed data from the Basic Resident Registry and Breast Cancer Screening Program in Minamisoma City following the Triple Disaster. We calculated the annual breast cancer screening uptake rate for women aged 40-74 years who were of an even-numbered age at the end of each fiscal year and the incidence of at least one instance of uptake of the breast cancer screening initiative during the biennial intervals. We further performed cross-sectional and longitudinal regression analyses for the biannual screening uptake and investigated its associated factors. Breast cancer screening participation rates were 19.8% and 18.2% in 2009 and 2010, respectively. They decreased to 4.2% in 2011, and gradually increased thereafter, reaching the pre-disaster level of 20.0% in 2016. Similar but longer decrease of the uptake was observed in the biannual screening uptake rate. No pre-disaster screening uptake between 2009 and 2010, those living alone, or those who were evacuated, were factors that were found to be associated with non-uptake of the breast cancer screening program following the 2011 disaster. This study showed a long-term decline in breast cancer screening uptake in the area affected by the Triple Disaster, which was the most severe among those under evacuation, those who were isolated, and those without previous uptake. The insights emerging from this study could be used to increase awareness of this issue and establish potential countermeasures.

Publication types

  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disasters*
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Female
  • Fukushima Nuclear Accident*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies