Purpose: Since 1996, the Korean Breast Cancer Society has collected nation-wide breast cancer data and analyzed the data using their online registration program biannually. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the characteristics of Korean breast cancer from 2008 and examine chronological based patterns.
Methods: Data were collected from 38 medical schools (67 hospitals), 20 general hospitals, and 10 private clinics. The data on the total number, gender, and age distribution were collected through a questionnaire as well as other detailed data analyzed via the online registration program.
Results: In 2008, there were 13,908 patients who were newly diagnosed with breast cancer. The crude incidence rate of female breast cancer was 57.3 among 100,000 and the median age was 49 years. The age distribution had not changed since the initial survey; however the proportion of postmenopausal patients had increased and median age was older than the past. In staging distribution, the proportion of early breast cancer (stage 0, I) was 47.2% with, breast-conserving surgery performed in 58% and mastectomy in 39.5%.
Conclusion: Compared to past data, the incidence of breast cancer in Korea continues to rise. Furthermore, the proportion of those detected by screening and breast conservation surgery has increased remarkably. To understand the patterns of Korean breast cancer, the nation-wide data should continuously investigated.
Keywords: Breast neoplasms; Korea; Online system; Registries.