The health ministry decided Friday to extend public health insurance to cover mastectomies and oophorectomies for people with breast or ovarian cancer who are at risk of developing further tumors due to a hereditary mutation. The number of people choosing to undergo the preventive surgeries is increasing as they have been found to reduce the risk of developing fatal cancers, prompting medical societies and patients to request coverage as the procedures often cost hundreds of thousands of yen. Those eligible for insurance coverage are people with cancer who have been diagnosed with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome, an inherited genetic disorder in which the risk of developing cancer in those organs is higher than for other people. The coverage will not extend to people who have yet to develop cancer but wish to undergo preventive surgery. Counseling will be offered to patients to help them decide how their disease should be treated.
Yamato Holdings Co. said Tuesday it has overcharged corporate users of its moving service by ¥1.7 billion over the 24 months through June. During the period the group handled 124,000 moves. Inappropriate charges were found for nearly 40 percent of the total, or about 48,000 cases, according to Yamato. President Masaki Yamauchi apologized for betraying the confidence of clients and causing them significant trouble. The company will return the overcharged money to the affected 2,640 companies as soon as possible, Yamauchi said.
About 1 in 3 workers has had a brush with "power harassment" over the past three years, up from 1 in 4 in the previous poll in 2012, a survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry says. The results show that bullying remains a prevalent problem in companies despite government efforts to improve the nation's working environment. The results of the poll, released Friday, show that 32.5 percent of the respondents had been on the receiving end of abuses of authority carried out by higher-ranking employees, up 7.2 points from 2012, when the figure was 25.3 percent. However, about 41 percent of those harassed failed to take action, with the majority saying that even if they did, they thought nothing would be done about the problem. Some also refrained from taking action due to fears that it would damage their next job performance evaluation.
According to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's website, a so-called bilateral prophylactic mastectomy lowers by at least 90 percent the risk of the disease in women at high risk. For women with a family history of breast cancer similar to German's, the surgery can reduce the risk by up to 90 percent, according to the National Institutes of Health's cancer.gov