Chonnam Med J.  2018 May;54(2):90-100. 10.4068/cmj.2018.54.2.90.

Updates on Cancer Epidemiology in Korea, 2018

  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Chonnam National University Medical School, Hwasun, Korea.


Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and the most common cause of death in Korea. There are currently approximately 200,000 incident cancer cases and 78,000 individuals die from cancer every year. The factors directly related to cancer incidence, including aging, smoking, obesity, and Westernized dietary habits, have been increasing during the past several decades. Since 1999, trends toward increased incidence have been observed for thyroid, breast (in women), colorectal, and prostate cancer. Currently, these trends have changed direction, and the incidence of stomach and liver cancer in both sexes, and cervical cancer in women have continually declined. Although the number of cancer deaths increased by a factor of 2.7 from 1983 to 2016, the age-standardized mortality associated with cancer has been decreasing by 3% every year. The 5-year relative survival rate (RSR) has also improved over the past several decades, especially for stomach, prostate, and breast cancer, which had 5-year RSRs greater than 90% in the most recent report.


Neoplasms; Epidemiology; Republic of Korea
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