Party pushing for new initiatives to fight cancer

August 4 , 2015

Furuya presents party cancer proposal to HLW Minister Shiozaki on Aug. 3Furuya (third from left) presents party cancer proposal to HLW Minister Shiozaki (third from right) on Aug. 3

On Monday, August 3, Komeito’s committee on national cancer initiatives chaired by House of Representatives member Noriko Furuya submitted a proposal to Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare (HLW) Yasuhisa Shiozaki to carry the fight against Japan’s leading cause of death even further.

Although the number of deaths from cancer has been decreasing due to advances in treatments, more people are being diagnosed with the disease than ever. One report projects that half of all Japanese will be afflicted by cancer in their lifetime.

In response to this serious health risk, Komeito is proposing that smoking in public places be subject to legal penalties in order to prevent secondhand smoking, which claims the lives of some 6,800 people every year from lung cancer and heart disease, according to the health ministry.

 Other recommendations the party is making: to reinforce the network among hospitals and oncologists to treat patients with rare forms of cancer, as well as providing more support for cancer-stricken children and their families; adopting a system in which young and middle-aged patients can continue to work while undergoing treatment and assisting post-treatment patients to return to work; health insurance coverage for wigs for those who experience significant hair loss as a result of chemotherapy; improved pain management; and enhanced second opinion consultancy services.