South Korea’s cancer recovery rate reaches 70 percent

Seoul, Dec 22 (IANS) More than two out of three cancer patients in South Korea made a full recovery thanks to developed medical science and advanced screening system, a government report said on Tuesday.

The rate of cancer patients surviving for over five years, which means a de-facto complete recovery, reached 69.4 percent during the five-year period from 2009 to 2013, Xinhua cited the health and welfare ministry’s statement as saying.

It was up a whopping 15.6 percentage points from 53.8 percent tallied during the 2001-2005 period.

The higher survival rate was attributed to advanced medical science and early diagnosis through regular checkups as well as behaviour to live a healthy life. A rising number of South Korean men quits smoking, contributing to the higher survival rate.

The highest rate of surviving for more than five years was thyroid cancer with 100.2 percent. It means that thyroid cancer patients even had a higher rate of survival than non-cancer patients.

More than 90 percent of patients diagnosed with prostate and breast cancers were completely healed during the cited five-year period, while more than 70 percent of colorectal and gastric cancer patients won a permanent cure.

However, the survival rates for patients diagnosed with pancreatic, lung and liver cancers were relatively low at 9.4 percent, 23.5 percent and 31.4 percent respectively.

The number of new cancer patients reached 225,343 in 2013, down from 226,216 a year earlier. It marked the first reduction since the related data began to be compiled in 1999.

The cancer incidence rate, which gauges the number of new cancer patient per 100,000 people, was 311.6 in 2013, down from 322.3 in 2012.

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