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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health



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Original Article A descriptive epidemiological study on cancer statistics on Korea based on published literatures on hospital cancer patients
Kwang Ho Meng, Won Chul Lee
Epidemiol Health 1987;9(1):139-150
DOI: https://doi.org/
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There have been many studies on frequencies and characteristics of cancer patients seen at the hospitals in Korea since 1960s. However, each study gives only limited information on cancer in Korea because the relative frequencies of cancer vary so much among the studies mainly because that the specialized fields of cancer is different among the study hospitals. This study, therefore, summarized and reanalyzed the relative frequency of cancer in Korea according to the personal and other epidemiological characteristics by aggregating all the data that were separately used in those studies in between 1960 and 1984. This observation indicates that, since 1960, the stomach cancer has increased both in males and females in its relative frequency among all cancers. Liver cancer and lung cancer are the ones that have also markedly increased in recent years particularly in males. In males, those three cancers consists of about 57% of all cancers now. In females, cervical cancer is the most common cancer in its relative frequency since 1960s. However this cancer has substentially been decreased in recent years whereas the breast cancer has increased. In age distribution, the relative frequency of cancer has sharply increased at the age of 40 and over both in males and females. Increasing tendency of relative frequency of cancer in the age group of 70 and over in noticeable. Trends in age distribution of relative frequency of stomach cancer from 1960s to 1970s is very interesting. This analysis shows that the stomach cancer is increasing in younger age group both in males and females while it is decreasing in old age groups. Considering the increased proportion of aged population in recent years, this reveals quite a decrease of stomach cancer in old ages. On the other hand, the cervical cancer tends to occur more in younger age group. This may be partly because the young women today visit doctors more frequently than before. Five year survival rates of stomach cancer, colon & rectum cancer, cervical cancer, and female breast cancer are 12.9%, 20.3%, 84.3% and 46.3% respectively. The survival rates showed very wide range among different studies. The relative low 5-year survival rates we have than expected might be due delayed diagnosis and inappropriate treatment. Only about half of the patients visit hospitals within 6 months after they had noticed symptoms. Considering that there is relatively easy way of self examination technique, the low frequency of early hospital visits in breast cancer is noticeable.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health