December 23, 2015 10:00
Two in every three patients recover from cancer thanks to medical advances and regular checkups, data shows. Cancer patients are considered completely recovered if they survive for over five years after diagnosis.
The five-year cancer survival rate for 2009-2013 stood at 69.4 percent, up 15.6 percentage points from the 2001-2005 period, according to records released by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Tuesday.
Korea's survival rate is higher than the U.S.' 66.5 percent in 2005-2011 or Japan's 58.6 percent in 2003-2005.
The recovery rate of cancers has increased drastically mainly due to early diagnosis through regular checkups and improved treatments.
"Cancer patients can now survive for longer as it is possible to easily detect cancers at an early stage through endoscopic procedures and to cure advanced or metastasized cancers through various anticancer treatments and therapies," said Lee Kang-hyun of the National Cancer Center.
It is also relatively easy to cure the most common types of cancer among Koreans in recent years -- thyroid, breast, colon and prostate cancer.
The recovery rate for thyroid cancer is almost 100 percent, which means survivors can live as long as those who have never got cancer. The figures for prostate cancer (92.5 percent), breast cancer (91.5 percent), and colon cancer (75.6 percent) are also high.
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