More Koreans Survive Cancer

  • By Yang Seung-joo

    December 30, 2020 12:10

    The chances of surviving cancer in Korea are growing every year, new figures show.

    The Ministry of Health and Welfare said Tuesday that 2.01 million patients who were diagnosed with cancer since records began in 1999 were still alive as of Jan. 1, 2018, either in treatment or recovered.

    Some 1.16 million or 57.8 percent survived for more than five years. The figures show that one in every 25 Koreans have at one time or another been diagnosed with cancer, and more than half of them survived for more than five years.

    Some 70.3 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer between 2014 and 2018 survived for more than five years, compared to 54.1 percent for those diagnosed between 2001 and 2005.

    Park Sang-jae of the National Cancer Center credited the improvement to early diagnosis and advances in treatment.

    More women (77.1 percent) than men (63.8 percent) had a chance of survival for more than five years, probably because thyroid and breast cancer, whose survival rate is relatively high, occur more often in women.

    Stomach cancer was the most common in both men and women. Next came thyroid, lung, colorectal, breast, and liver cancer.

    The rates of stomach, colorectal and liver cancer have been declining, but those of breast, prostate and pancreatic cancer have increased over the last decade.

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