Existing epidemiologic reports or studies of cancer statistics in Korea lack sufficient data on cancer severity distributions and observed survival rates. This study analyzed trends in major cancer statistics according to sex and severity levels in Korea from 2006 to 2013. We included eight cancers (hepatocellular carcinoma, and thyroid, colorectal, gastric, lung, prostate, breast, and cervical cancer), using Korea Central Cancer Registry data. Severity level was classified by Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) stage as follows: localized, regional, distant, or unknown. Numbers of incident cancer cases from 2006 to 2013 were described by sex and SEER stage. We estimated up to 8-year observed survival rates of major cancers by sex and SEER stage, and provided prevalence rates by sex and SEER stage in 2011, 2012, and 2013. Although increases in new cancer cases are slowing and the total number of incident cancer cases in 2013 decreased for the first time since 2006, the number of prevalent cancer cases was 663,530 in 2013, an increase of 13.3% compared to 2011. Among the five cancers affecting both sexes, sex-related differences in 5-year observed survival rates for lung cancer were greatest in the localized stage (men, 31.9%; women, 48.1%), regional stage (men, 20.0%; women, 31.3%), and unknown stage (men, 24.3%; women, 37.5%). The sum of the proportions of localized and regional stages for thyroid and breast cancer was over 90% in 2013, while the sum of the proportions of localized and regional stages for lung cancer was only 56.7% in 2013. Differences in observed survival rates between men and women were prominent in lung cancer for all SEER stages. The reported epidemiologic data from this study can be used to obtain a more valid measure of cancer burden using a summary measure of population health.
Ock, M., Choi, W. J., & Jo, M. W. (2018). Trend analysis of major cancer statistics according to sex and severity levels in Korea. PLoS ONE, 13(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0203110