Current Status of Thyroid Cancer Screening in Korea: Results From a Nationwide Interview Survey


Objective: Since 2000, thyroid cancer has been increasing most rapidly in Korea. Although the cause of theincrease is not clear, thyroid cancer screening could be identified as one of its causes. The purpose of this study wasto examine the screening rate of thyroid cancer and its related factors using nationwide data.
Methods: The studypopulation was derived from the 2009 Korea National Cancer Screening Survey (KNCSS), an annual cross-sectionalsurvey that uses a nationally representative random sampling to investigate cancer screening rates. A total of 2,000Korean adults participated. The screening method of thyroid cancer was restricted to thyroid ultrasonography.Logistic regression was used to identify factors associated with undergoing thyroid cancer screening.
Results: Ofall participants, 13.2% (8.4% men and 16.4% women) underwent thyroid ultrasonography. On multiple analyses,age, residence, belief in cancer screening, regular health check-ups, smoking, alcohol drinking, and exercisewere associated with thyroid cancer screening. Subjects who underwent other cancer screening, such as gastric,colorectal, breast, or cervical, were more likely to have had a thyroid ultrasonogram that those who did not getscreened.
Conclusions: We presented the number and characteristics of examinees utilized ultrasonography as athyroid screening tool in Korea. Although these results revealed that cancer screening might play a major role inthe increase of thyroid cancer incidence, further research is needed to determine causes of the rapidly increasingincidence of thyroid cancer in Korea.