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Risk factors and control strategies for the rapidly rising rate of breast cancer in Korea



Risk factors and control strategies for the rapidly rising rate of breast cancer in Korea



Journal of Breast Cancer 14(2): 79-87



Due to the aging population and tremendous changes in life style over the past decades, cancer has been the leading cause of death in Korea. The incidence rate of breast cancer is the second highest in Korea, and it has shown an annual increase of 6.8% for the past 6 years. The major risk factors of breast cancer in Korean women are as follows: Early menarche, late menopause, late full-term pregnancy (FTP), and low numbers of FTP. Height and body mass index increased the risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women only. There are ethnic variations in breast cancer due to the differences in genetic susceptibility or exposure to etiologic agent. With the epidemiological evidences on the possibility of further increase of breast cancer in Korea, the Korean Government began implementing the National Cancer Screening Program against breast cancer in 2002. Five-year survival rates for female breast cancer have improved significantly from 78.0% in early 1993-1995 to 90.0% in 2004-2008. This data indicate that improvement of the survival rate may be partially due to the early diagnosis of breast cancer as well as the increased public awareness about the significance of early detection and organized cancer screening program. The current primary prevention programs are geared towards strengthening national prevention campaigns. In accordance with the improvement in 5-year survival rate, the overall cancer mortality has started to decrease. However, breast cancer death rate and incidence rates are still increasing, which need further organized effort by the Korean Government.

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Accession: 055579062

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PMID: 21847401

DOI: 10.4048/jbc.2011.14.2.79


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