Cancer statistics in Korea: incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence in 2011

Cancer Res Treat. 2014 Apr;46(2):109-23. doi: 10.4143/crt.2014.46.2.109. Epub 2014 Apr 22.


Purpose: This study aimed to report nationwide cancer statistics in Korea, including incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence, and their trends.

Materials and methods: Incidence data from 1993 to 2011 were obtained from the Korea National Cancer Incidence Database, and vital status was followed through December 31, 2012. Mortality data from 1983 to 2011 were obtained from Statistics Korea. Crude and age-standardized rates for incidence, mortality, and prevalence, and relative survival were calculated.

Results: A total of 218,017 cancer cases and 71,579 cancer deaths were reported to have occurred in 2011, and there were 1,097,253 prevalent cases identified in Korea as of January 1, 2012. Over the past 13 years (1999-2011), overall incidence rates have increased by 3.4% per year. The incidence rates of liver and cervical cancers have decreased, while those of thyroid, breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers have increased. Notably, thyroid cancer increased by 23.3% per year in both sexes, and became the most common cancer since 2009. The mortality for all cancers combined decreased by 2.7% per year from 2002 to 2011. Five-year relative survival rates of patients diagnosed in the last 5 years (2007-2011) have improved by 25.1% compared with those from 1993 to 1995.

Conclusion: Overall cancer mortality rates have declined since 2002 in Korea, while incidence has increased rapidly and survival has improved.

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