Journal List > J Korean Breast Cancer Soc > v.5(3) > 1076657

Korean Breast Cancer Society: Clinical Characteristics of Breast Cancer Patients in Korea in Year 2000


The Korean Breast Cancer Society conducted this nationwide multicenter survey in the year 2000 to determine the clinical characteristics of breast cancer and to compare the results with previous surveys, conducted in 1996 and 1998, to obtain an epidemiological pattern for breast cancer in Korea. Data were collected from 38 university and 45 surgical training hospitals. The total number of patients involved was 5,401 (median age=46 yr) with an estimated crude incidence of 23 patients per 100,000. Premenopausal women under age of 50 were 61.1%. Of these, 71.6% received mastectomy, 27% breast conserving surgery, and 1.4% other surgical treatments. Fifty-four percent were diagnosed at stage II (AJCC classification) and the incidence of early cancer (stages 0 and I) was 31.5%. Comparisons with the earlier 1996 and 1998 results indicated that the number of breast cancer patients is increasing. As to the type of treatment, mastectomies were reduced and breast-conserving surgery increased, and an increase in the proportional incidence of early cancer was noted. The number of patients with risk factors, such as early menarche, late menopause, late first-delivery, and high fat diet were also found to have increased. Although our epidemiological survey was limited in terms of its duration, our findings suggest that breast cancer in Korean will continue to rise and that its clinical features will change closer to what is now observed in Western countries.

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