The rate of breast cancer mortality in Okinawa has gradually been increasing up to 2010. Now Okinawa has the second worst mortality rate in Japan, in part due to the enormous dietary changes resulting from the post-World War II US military occupation, high incidence of obesity, high non-optimal treatment rate, and low breast-cancer screening rate. To reduce breast cancer mortality in Okinawa, we established the Okinawa Breast Oncology Meeting (OBOM) in 2012. At the 7th OBOM held on January 10th, 2014, we discussed the breast cancer mortality in Okinawa focusing on lifestyle, breast cancer screening and optimal treatments. The Okinawan women who were overweight and/or obese during premenopausal and postmenopausal ages had a statistically significant higher risk of breast cancer development compared to those with non-overweight and/or obese women. The traditional diet of Okinawa consists of foods low in calories but rich in nutritional value. Therefore, we recommend Okinawan people not to forget the Okinawan traditional lifestyle, and to reduce their bodyweight to prevent breast cancer. One of the main goals of the OBOM is to raise breast cancer screening attendance rates to 50% (29.2% in 2010). We should standardize the quality control for breast cancer screening in Okinawa. It is important to continue enlightening the Okinawan population to receive optimal treatment. In addition, we are striving to establish systematic medical cooperation between the hospitals specializing in breast cancer treatment with rural hospitals. The OBOM group endeavors to contribute to the improvement of breast cancer mortality in Okinawa.
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