Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

  • International Symposium on Environmental Carcinogenesis Dec. 9–11, 1979, Cancer Research Institute (Tata Memorial Centre) Bombay
  • Published:

Operational epidemiology of cancer

  • 27 Accesses

  • 8 Citations


Operational epidemiology is an action-oriented epidemiology directly aimed at cancer control. This approach has been elucidated by illustrating examples pertaining to cancer of oesophagus, lung, and breast. Using data collected by retrospective and prospective studies on these types of cancer it was observed that relative risk increases substantially when the various contributory factors are taken into account. Thus, the relative risk of oesophageal cancer increases when combined with the intake of hot tea-gruel. Relative risk increases further when other factors, such as nutritional deficiencies and cigarette smoking are considered. These studies support the well-known hypothesis of initiator and promotor mechanism of carcinogenesis. A few other modifying factors are also illustrated. Based on these studies strategies for intervention are suggested.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Hirayama T (1973) Strategy for cancer epidemiology. In: Nakahara W (ed) Analytic and experimental epidemiology of cancer. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo. pp 393–420

  2. Hirayama T (1975) Prospective studies on cancer epidemiology based on census population in Japan. In: Cancer epidemiology. Environmental factors. Proc. of the 11th International Cancer Congress, Florence, 1974, vol 3. Excerpta Medica, Amsterdam, p 26

  3. Hirayama T (1978) Epidemiology of breast cancer with special reference to the role of diet. Prev Med 7:173–195

  4. Kamon Sh, Hirayama T (1975) Epidemiology of cancer of the esophagus in Miye, Nara, and Wakayama prefecture with special reference to the role of bracken fern. Proc Jap Cancer Assoc (34th Annual Meeting) p211

  5. Kamon, SH, Hirayama T (1976) An epidemiological study of cancer of the esophagus in Walkayama, Nara, and Miya prefecture (in Japanese). Report (1973–1975) to Jap Cancer Assoc pp 1–186

  6. Ministry of Health and Welfare (1970) National Nutritional Survey

Download references

Author information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Hirayama, T. Operational epidemiology of cancer. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol 99, 15–28 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00412438

Download citation

Key words

  • Operational epidemiology
  • Intervention studies
  • Bracken fern
  • Smoking
  • Lung cancer