Newspapers could provide effective and comprehensive information about cancer to the public. The present study conducted a content analysis of cancer-related articles in Japanese newspapers published in 2011. In total, 5,314 articles were identified and subsequently coded. Coding variables included cancer type, the cancer continuum, and topic of articles mentioning cancer. Approximately half mentioned at least one specific type of cancer, with the focus mostly on lung, leukemia, and breast. Stomach and colon cancers, which have the highest morbidity, were relatively underreported. The continuum received little attention, and was mentioned in only 11% of articles. Treatment was the most frequently mentioned part of the continuum, with prevention and screening mentioned only rarely. The most frequently mentioned topic was social issues. The findings suggest that cancer-related articles were found regularly throughout the year, meaning that they might be one of the most important sources of cancer information. However, they are affected by social issues and there were some imbalances in both cancer type and continuum. Considering the influence of newspapers, it would be helpful for providing more effective and accurate information to the public if Japanese newspapers increased mentions of specific types of common cancers and the cancer continuum, especially prevention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas