Cancer statistics in Korea: incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence in 2009

Cancer Res Treat. 2012 Mar;44(1):11-24. doi: 10.4143/crt.2012.44.1.11. Epub 2012 Mar 31.


Purpose: This study overviews nationwide cancer statistics, including incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence, and their trends in Korea based on 2009 cancer incidence data.

Materials and methods: Incidence data from 1993-2009 were obtained from the Korea National Cancer Incidence Database, and vital status was followed through 31 December 2010. Mortality data from 1983-2009 were obtained from Statistics Korea. Crude rates and age-standardized rates for incidence, mortality, and prevalence; and relative survival were calculated.

Results: In total, 192,561 cancer cases and 69,780 cancer deaths were observed during 2009, and 808,503 10-year cancer prevalent cases occurred in Korea as of 1 January 2010. The incidence rate for all cancers combined showed an annual increase of 3.3% from 1999 to 2009.

Conclusion: Stomach, liver and cervical cancers have been decreasing and thyroid, breast and colorectal cancers have been increasing at large. In particular, in 2009, colorectal cancer became the third most common cancer in females and for the first time ranked higher than stomach cancer, which had been the long-standing common cancer in Korea. While overall cancer incidence has been rapidly increasing in Korea, age-standardized cancer mortality rates have been declining since 2002, and cancer survival has been improving.

Keywords: Incidence; Korea; Mortality; Neoplasms; Prevalence; Survival.