Previous studies have shown that socioeconomic factors are associated with cancer incidence and stage at diagnosis; however, relevant findings in Japan are limited. We examined the association between socioeconomic status and cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis, and detection status by screening, as assessed by the areal deprivation index (ADI), using population-based cancer registry data. A total of 79,816 cases including stomach, colorectal, lung, female breast, and cervical cancer diagnosed in Miyagi Prefecture between 2005 and 2010 were analyzed. After calculating the ADI at the place of residence in each case, we examined the association between quintiles of ADI and age-adjusted incidence rates of all stages and advanced stages by sex and site using Poisson regression analysis. The association between the ADI and the proportion of screen-detected cancers was also examined using logistic regression analysis. The age-adjusted incidence rates of all sites and lung cancer in men and lung cancer and cervical cancer in women tended to increase significantly in areas with a higher ADI. The age-adjusted incidence rates of advanced-stage cancers were significantly higher for all sites and lung cancer in both sexes, and stomach and colorectal cancer in men. The proportion of screen-detected cancer tended to be significantly lower in areas with a higher ADI for stomach and colorectal cancer in men. Our results indicate that socioeconomic disparities may affect cancer incidence and early diagnosis in Japan. These results suggest the importance of cancer control measures targeting people with low socioeconomic status in Japan.

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