Almost 70 percent of Korean patients who were diagnosed with cancer from 2009-2013 have survived or are expected to survive at least five years after their initial diagnosis, a newly released government report showed Tuesday.
The survival rate, 69.4 percent, is an increase of 15.6 percentage points over the rate for patients who were diagnosed from 2001-2005, which was 53.8 percent. The increased number of Koreans engaged in regular health checkups and healthier lifestyles, as well as a decrease in the number of smokers, may have affected the statistics, the report said.
According to the report, a total of 225,343 Koreans — 113,744 men and 111,599 women — were newly diagnosed with cancer in 2013, a 79.3 percent increase from the number of patients back in 2003.
Among all newly diagnosed patients in 2013, the highest number of them, 42,541, had thyroid cancer. The second-highest number of patients, 30,184 of them, had stomach cancer, while the third-highest, 27,618, had colorectal cancer.
Among female patients, the highest number, 34,087, had thyroid cancer, followed by breast cancer and colorectal cancer.
Among male patients, on the other hand, the largest number, 20,266, had stomach cancer, followed by those with colorectal cancer and lung cancer.
The report also showed that some 1.4 million cancer patients, who had been diagnosed since 1999, were confirmed to have survived as of January 2014. This means at least 1 in 37 Koreans had been diagnosed with cancer as of last year.