Long-term Survival of Cancer Patients in Korea, 1993-2007: National Cancer Registry Study


Although survival rates are very useful for monitoring the effects of early cancer detection and treatment,at present there are only limited population-based estimates of long-term survival rates in Korea. Furthermore,published data are only available for 5-year survival; 10-year survival rates have hitherto not been reported.We therefore analysed data from the Korean National Cancer Incidence Database between 1993 and 2007 andfollowed through into 2008 to estimate long-term survival rates and trends at 5 and 10 years after diagnosis ofall cancers combined. Further analysis was conducted on the 19 most common cancers in Korea. From 1993 to2007, the 10-year relative survival rates (RSRs) for all cancer types combined were 36.3% and 56.4% in Koreanmen and women, respectively. The 10-year RSRs for all cancers combined improved from 29.5% and 50.5%during 1993-1998 to 39.2% and 58.9% during 1999-2007 in Korean men and women, respectively. From 1993to 2007, the 5-year and 10-year RSRs thus improved in both sexes for the most common cancers. In the 75 yearsand older group, increases of the 5-year and 10-year RSR for all combined, and for most of the major cancerswere lower than all other age groups. This study provides population-based estimates of long-term survivaland confirms improvements of long-term survivals for all cancer sites and for most of the major cancer sites.Improvements of survival for young patients are more significant than for older patients. The results may helpclinicians and patients assess long-term prognosis.