Factors Associated with Attending the National Cancer Screening Program for Liver Cancer in Korea


Background and Aims: The National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) for liver cancer was initiated in 2003 in Korea. The objective of this study was to evaluate the participation rate of the program and to provide preliminary information on its results based on data collected by the NCSP in 2009.
Methods: The target population of the NCSP for liver cancer in 2009 was comprised of 373,590 adults aged ≥40 years at high risk for liver cancer. Participation rates and positivity rates were assessed in this population. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with participation in the NCSP for liver cancer.
Results: The overall participation rate was 37.9% and 1,126 participants were positive at screening. The highest participation rates were observed in women, those in their 60s, National Health Insurance beneficiaries, and individuals positive for hepatitis B surface antigen. Positivity rates for men, those in their 70s, Medical Aid Program recipients and individuals with liver cirrhosis were the highest in the respective categories of gender, age, health insurance type, and risk factor for liver cancer.
Conclusions: The participation rates of the NCSP for liver cancer are still low, despite the fact that the program targets a high-risk group much smaller than the general population. Efforts to facilitate participation and to reduce disparities in liver cancer screening among Korean men and women are needed. These results provide essential data for evidence-based strategies for liver cancer control in Korea.