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NAT'L CANCER CONTROL PROGRAMS

Eliminating cancer Every year, approximately 190,000 people are diagnosed with cancer in Korea while 72,000 die of it. Cancer became the first leading cause of death in Korea in 1983. Cancer mortality has been steadily increasing over the last two decades and cancer deaths accounted for 28.2% of all deaths in 2010, which means that one in every four Koreans becomes a victim of this life-threatening disease.

Stomach, colorectum, lung and liver four most common primary sites of cancer in Korean men, accounting for almost two-thirds of all cancer burden. Stomach, breast, colorectal, cervix, lung, and liver cancers constitute two-thirds of the total cancers in Korean women.

In contrast to the relatively low cancer incidence reported in Globocan 2002, the overall age-standardized incidence rates (ASR) in Korean men are now higher than the world averages and are similar to those reported in northern Europe. However, Korean women still overall have a ASR similar to the world average and lower than those reported in Europe. In both sexes, ASRs of stomach, colon and rectum, liver, lung and thyroid cancers are higher than the world averages.

Considering the magnitude of the rising incidence and mortality, cancer is currently one of the most pressing public health problems facing Korea, and the ageing of the Korean population will cause these numbers to continue to increase even if age-specific rates remain constant.

Cancer has been the leading cause of death in Korea since the First 10-year Plan for Cancer Control in Korea initiated by the government, the NCC Cancer Control Institute operates and supports the national cancer control programs, including the National Cancer Information Center, Quitline, National Cancer Screening Program, and the Regional Cancer Centers. With the plan's implementation, the 5-year survival rate of cancer patients in Korea has improved to 62%.

- Cancer Control Policy in Korea

In response to the growing cancer burden at the government level.  Also, the National Cancer Center was founded in March 2000 as a government-funded institution devoted to research, patient care, education & training in cancer.  The Cancer Control Act, another important legal framework for controlling cancer in Korea, was legislated in 2003. This law authorizes the Health & Welfare Minister to formulate and implement cancer control programs and promote international collaboration as well. In early 2006, the Second 10-year Plan for Cancer Control in Korea for the next ten years(2006-2015) was forged to strengthen the cancer control efforts at the government level within the following framework:

Scheme of the Government's 2nd-term 10-Year Plan for Cancer Control

Program Descriptions Start Year Implementing Agency
National R&D Program for Cancer Control This cancer-oriented R&D program supports R&D activities of industry, academia and research institutes by providing them with grants. It finances a wide range of cancer topics from basic, translational to clinical research. 1996 Nat'l Cancer Control Planning Board
National Cancer Registration Program Started as KCCR, this program registers detailed information on cancer cases from more than 180 training hospitals across the country every year. It also supports the regional cancer registries technically and financially. KCCH publishes a national cancer incidence by collecting and analyzing the hospital-registered data 1980 Korea Central Cancer Registry (KCCR)
National Cancer Screening Program The Program provides targeted population with free screening services for five common cancers - stomach, liver, colorectum, breast, and cervix uteri. 1999 Supporting Committee for Cancer Screening Program
Cancer Patients Management Programs - Program 1: A variety of medical care services are provided to low-income cancer patients free of charge by health care providers in the public health centers. The services include consultations and pain control. 2004 -
- Program 2: A terminal cancer patient care initiative was introduced to help palliative care units improve the quality of palliative care. 2005
Regional Cancer Center Support Program This was designed to reduce regional disparity in cancer care by designating hospitals in the provinces as Regional Cancer Centers (RRCs). The government supports each RRC to help it to strengthen its cancer care infrastructure. 2004 Steering Committee for Regional Cancer Center
Financial Aid Program for Cancer Patients Started with leukemia patients under 18, this financial support program aims to relieve low-income patent's financial burden. 2002 -
Cancer Information Center

 

Quit Smoking
Call Center

 

- National Cancer Information Center: it provides the general public with evidence-based cancer information through a call center, web site, and publications 2005 Nat'l Cancer Info. CTR
- Tobacco Quitline Program: This call center helps smokers quit smoking by offering evidence-based information on the harmful effects of smoking and some practical recommendations on hwo to quit smoking 2006 Tobacco Quitline Program