October 21, 2022 13:10
Seven out of 10 colon cancer patients are over 60 as the disease becomes more prevalent in Korea's aging society. Male patients outnumber their female counterparts, but the growth rate is higher among women.
According to the National Health Insurance Service on Thursday, 148,410 patients were treated for colon cancer last year, up 6.6 percent from 2017.
The number of male patients increased by 5.5 percent to 87,740 but that of female patients by 8.4 percent to 60,670. Patients over 60 accounted for the largest proportion or 71.9 percent.
But the incidence also grew dramatically among younger people. The number of patients in their 20s jumped by 58.4 percent from 2017 to 564 last year, and in their 30s by 37.2 percent to 3,193.
According to a recent study at the University of Colorado, Korea had the highest incidence of colon cancer among 42 countries surveyed with 12.9 patients per 100,000 population.
The main reason seems to be that Koreans' dietary habits are becoming rapidly westernized, with higher consumption of meat and processed food than elsewhere.
- Copyright © Chosunilbo & Chosun.com