Thursday, April 28, 2005

Cancer in Korea

'30% of men, 20% of women in Korea suffer from cancer'

If a Korean reaches the average life expectancy, the chances of getting cancer are 30 or 20 percent, depending on the gender, according to cancer statistics released yesterday.

The survey, conducted by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, covered all the nation's cancer patients during 1999-2000.

"Supposing a Korean man had lives until 72.8 years old, the average span of a Korean man, about one out of three would have developed cancer in some parts of the body. As for women, whose life expectancy is 81.1 years, the rate is one out of five," ministry officials said.

The total number of cancer cases in Korea stood at 100,889 in 1999 (57,687 cases men and 43,202 women), 100,467 in 2000 (57,417 men/43,150 women), and 109,359 in 2001 (61,927 men/47,432 women), they said.

Looking at the kinds of cancer, Korean men suffered mostly from stomach cancer with the rate reaching 58.6 per 100,000. Cancer in the lungs, liver, large intestines followed next with incidence rates of 42.1, 41.9 and 24.2 people per 100,000, respectively.

For women, stomach cancer also topped the list with the incidence rate at 30.8 people per 100,000, followed by breast cancer with 25.7, large intestine cancer with 19.6 and uterine cancer with 18.4.

Cancer is the foremost cause of death in Korea, accounting for 25.9 percent of all deaths last year.

By Lee Sun-young

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