The newspaper is a primary source of cancer information for the public, and newspaper articles could provide effective and comprehensible information about cancer prevention. Content analyses of cancer news coverage contribute to understanding the effect of newspaper coverage on public knowledge and behavior. The current study reviewed previous comprehensive content analyses. The news coverage was not balanced with regard to the population incidence and mortality of each cancer. Lack of balance may contribute to distortion in readers’ perceptions of cancer risk. In addition, newspaper articles rarely mentioned cancer prevention behaviors, although there was a positive association between news coverage and individuals knowledge of cancer prevention. The cancer stories in newspapers are affected by the social, existential, and religious characteristics of a country; the themes of cancer stories differ according to country. However, no study has used comprehensive content analysis to investigate cancer news coverage in Japan. Thus, comprehensive analysis of cancer story content in Japanese newspapers should be conducted to assess the value these stories have in delivering accurate information to the public.
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