Cancer Screening in Japan: Market Research and Segmentation Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Mission of CancerScan

CancerScan aimed at creating awareness about cancer screening in order to decrease the death ratio of this critical disease. The company formed in 2008, was aiming to create awareness about the disease and was aiming to increase the number of screenings for breast cancer in Japanese women.


The company has done a remarkable job in creating awareness in Japan about breast cancer by conducting screening activities and has gathered substantial financial growth in the recent years. The company generated revenues around $2.5 million in 2013, and the screening activities contributed 60% of the revenue. Furthermore, the company has used different market segmentation strategies in order to increase awareness among Japanese women and increase the number of screenings for breast cancer.

Using market segmentation was a well-conducted initiative in which the company used different survey techniques, especially questioners and approached women living in various areas of Japan. Using this survey, the company divided its market segments into four groups based on the result of survey that were further interviewed for screening.

Overall the company was progressing smoothly from the very start and was gaining profits at the end of every fiscal year. One of the major reasons of CancerScan’s growth was possessing a client like the National Cancer Center, which was responsible for conducting screenings in Japan but was lacking the ability of research.

CancerScan, using the ability of conducting efficient market research on the basis of segmentation made good relationships with NCC.

Another major reason for the success of the company was its relationships with municipalities that helped the company to conduct efficient and effective research and would increase the number of screenings for breast cancer in the country. Adding more to the success of the company was the support of government and funding from NCC as well as the lack of competition as the company was the sole player in the industry. The government policies were also helpful in making the progress of the company at the stage of continuing growth as the government of Japan spent heavily towards improving the health infrastructure of the country.

Besides conducting screening the company has also focused on other projects that involved nursing, suicide prevention, health checkups and consulting service about non-health care issues. These activities together were contributing 40% of the revenue of the company while breast cancer screenings were contributing the rest of the 60%. The company was focusing primarily on the cancer screenings, but the founders are now considering other opportunities for growth in the coming years. Currently, the company is enjoying monopoly and is witnessing smooth growth every year with a 10 % increase in profits.


The rate of deaths from breast cancer is increasing in Japan and people are not completely aware of the effects of breast cancer. CancerScan with the help of a National Cancer Center aimed at creating as much awareness as possible in order to bring the number of deaths occurring from this deadly disease. As the company has conducted research on the basis of market segmentation to increase awareness among Japanese women, the results were very beneficial for further improvements.

The research segmented the groups as regular screening takers; segment A, B and C. With the help of the research and results obtained, the barrier of screening process was been identified and explained separately about each segment.  The options highlighted in the research as a key barrier for breast cancer screening in the country includes inconvenience, people finds screening as embarrassing, people are confident about their health, people are worried about cancer, some people wait for a recommendation or suggestion from a friend and lastly, people don’t find screening necessary.

Some major barriers that hinders in the way of screening for breast cancer includes the distance that discourages the people for checkup as the places for checkups are very distant. People, therefore, don’t prefer checkups or screening as they have to cover a lot of distance. Secondly, people are not comfortable with the screening tests and possess some sort of anxiety that stops them from getting screened for breast cancer. Awareness is another factor that can create obstacles in the screening process as people are not aware of the disease and its effects......................

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