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Original Article
Regional disparities in the availability of cancer clinical trials in Korea
Jieun Jang, Wonyoung Choi, Sung Hoon Sim, Sokbom Kang
Epidemiol Health. 2024;46:e2024006.   Published online December 11, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2024006
  • 2,866 View
  • 63 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Unequal access to cancer clinical trials is an important issue, given the potential benefits of participation for cancer patients. We evaluated regional disparities in access to cancer clinical trials in Korea.
METHODS
From the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety database, we extracted 2,465 records of all cancer clinical trials approved between January 2012 and April 2023. To measure disparities in cancer clinical trial access, we calculated the ratio of clinical trials open to non-capital areas relative to those open to capital areas. We then analyzed temporal trends in this ratio, which we termed the trial geographical equity index (TGEI).
RESULTS
Disparities in access to cancer clinical trials, as indicated by the TGEI, did not significantly improve during the study period (regression coefficient, 0.002; p=0.59). However, for phase II/III trials sponsored by global pharmaceutical companies, the TGEI improved significantly (regression coefficient, 0.021; p<0.01). In contrast, the TGEI deteriorated for trials initiated by investigators or those testing domestically developed therapeutics (regression coefficient, -0.015; p=0.05). Furthermore, the increasing trend of TGEI for phase II/III trials sponsored by global companies began to reverse after 2019, coinciding with the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
CONCLUSIONS
Over the past decade, access to cancer clinical trials has improved in Korea, particularly for phase II/III trials evaluating therapeutics from global companies. However, this increase in accessibility has not extended to trials initiated by investigators or those assessing domestically developed therapeutics. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 on disparities in clinical trial access should be closely monitored.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 개시된 암 임상시험 수가 국내 수도권에 비해 비수도권에서 절대적으로 부족하고, 이러한 부족이 지난 10년간 개선되지 않았음을 보여줍니다. 다만, 글로벌 제약회사의 치료제를 검증하는 2상/3상 암 임상시험의 경우 임상시험 접근성에 대한 이러한 지역적 격차가 의미 있게 감소했으나 이러한 개선 또한 2019년 이후로는 정체되었을 수 있습니다. 상기 결과들은 임상시험 가용성의 형평성을 향상시키기 위해서는 국내 임상시험 개시 규모가 지역적 불균형을 이루고 있음에 대한 인식이 높아져야 하고, 비수도권 지역에서 임상시험 개시를 방해하는 장벽을 식별하는 데 추가적인 노력이 필요함을 강조합니다.
Key Message
The findings in this study indicate scarcity of cancer clinical trials in non-capital areas compared to that in capital areas of Korea, which has not improved over the past decade. However, this regional disparity in the access to clinical trials meaningfully decreased for phase II/III trials testing therapeutics from global pharmaceutical companies, though this progress may have stalled after 2019. This study highlights that increasing awareness of the regional imbalance in clinical trial access is vital and further efforts are needed to identify the barriers impeding the initiation of clinical trials in non-capital areas to improve the equity of availability.
Systematic Review
Dietary intake and cancer incidence in Korean adults: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies
Ji Hyun Kim, Shinyoung Jun, Jeongseon Kim
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023102.   Published online November 30, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023102
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
Cancer is a major health burden in Korea, and dietary factors have been suggested as putative risk factors for cancer development at various sites. This study systematically reviewed the published literature investigating the associations between dietary factors and cancer incidence among Korean adults, following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta- Analyses guidelines. We focused on the 5 most studied cancer sites (stomach, colorectum, breast, thyroid, and cervix) as outcomes and dietary exposures with evidence levels greater than limited-suggestive according to the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) panel’s judgment for any of the cancer sites. This resulted in the inclusion of 72 studies. Pooled estimates of the impact of dietary factors on cancer risk suggested protective associations of fruits and vegetables with risks for gastric cancer (GC), colorectal cancer (CRC), and breast cancer (BC) and dietary vitamin C with the risk of GC, as well as a harmful association between fermented soy products and the risk of GC. Despite the limited number of studies, we observed consistent protective associations of dietary fiber with GC and dietary fiber, coffee, and calcium with CRC. These findings are largely consistent with the WCRF/AICR expert report. However, pooled estimates for the associations of other salt-preserved foods with GC, meat with CRC, and dietary carotenoids and dairy products with BC did not reach statistical significance. Further studies with prospective designs, larger sample sizes, and diverse types of dietary factors and cancer sites are necessary.
Summary
Korean summary
한국 성인을 대상으로 주요 암종 발생과 관련된 식이 요인을 탐색한 72개 역학연구들을 체계적으로 리뷰하고 메타 분석한 결과, 과일 및 채소는 위암, 대장암, 유방암에 대한 보호 효과가 있으며, 식이 비타민 C는 위암 예방에 도움이 된다는 결과가 확인되었다. 반면, 염장 식품 중 발효 대두 제품은 위암 발생 위험을 증가시킬 수 있다. 향후 식이 섭취와 밀접하게 관련되었으나 기존 국내 연구가 부족한 암종과 다양한 식이 요인의 영향을 탐색하는 대규모 전향적 코호트 연구가 요구된다.
Key Message
We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on the associations between dietary factors and cancer incidence among Korean adults. Pooled estimates suggested protective associations of fruits and vegetables with risks for gastric cancer (GC), colorectal cancer (CRC), and breast cancer (BC) and dietary vitamin C with the risk of GC, as well as a harmful association between fermented soy products and GC risk. Further research is warranted, emphasizing longitudinal designs, larger sample sizes, and a comprehensive exploration of dietary factors, with a specific focus on anatomical sites with a substantial burden of disease but understudied in the context of diet.
Special Article
Cancer risk based on alcohol consumption levels: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis
Seunghee Jun, Hyunjin Park, Ui-Jeong Kim, Eun Jeong Choi, Hye Ah Lee, Bomi Park, Soon Young Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Hyesook Park
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023092.   Published online October 16, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023092
  • 4,846 View
  • 381 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 1 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Alcohol consumption is a well-established risk factor for cancer. Despite extensive research into the relationship between alcohol consumption and cancer risk, the effect of light alcohol consumption on cancer risk remains a topic of debate. To contribute to this discourse, we conducted a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis.
METHODS
Our systematic review aimed to investigate the associations between different levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of several cancer types. We focused on analyzing prospective associations using data from 139 cohort studies. Among them, 106 studies were included in the meta-analysis after a quantitative synthesis.
RESULTS
Our analysis did not find a significant association between light alcohol consumption and all-cause cancer risk (relative risk, 1.02; 95% confidence interval, 0.99 to 1.04), but we observed a dose-response relationship. Light alcohol consumption was significantly associated with higher risks of esophageal, colorectal, and breast cancers. Light to moderate drinking was associated with elevated risks of esophageal, colorectal, laryngeal, and breast cancers. Heavy drinking was also found to contribute to the risk of stomach, liver, pancreas, and prostate cancers, thereby increasing the risk of almost all types of cancer. Additionally, females generally had lower cancer risks compared to males.
CONCLUSIONS
Our findings highlight that cancer risks extend beyond heavy alcohol consumption to include light alcohol consumption as well. These findings suggest that there is no safe level of alcohol consumption associated with cancer risk. Our results underscore the importance of public health interventions addressing alcohol consumption to mitigate cancer risks.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 코호트 연구를 기반으로 하여 음주의 수준에 따른 암 위험 연관성에 대해 체계적 문헌고찰(139편)과 메타분석(106편)을 수행하였다. 연구 결과, 음주와 암 위험 사이에 용량-반응 관계가 나타났으며, 소량의 음주는 암 유형에 따라 차이가 있었으나, 식도암, 대장암, 전립선암(남성), 유방암(여성)에서 암 위험과의 연관성이 있음을 발견했다. 따라서, 암 위험 측면에서 음주에 안전한 수준이 없음을 시사하며, 음주와 관련된 잠재적 피해를 완화하기 위해서는 음주 지침 강화와 같은 공중보건개입이 필요하다.
Key Message
The aim of this study was to assess the relationship between different levels of alcohol consumption and the risk of various cancer types through a systematic review and meta-analysis, providing insights into the ongoing debate about alcohol consumption and cancer causality. The findings support a dose-response relationship between alcohol consumption levels and cancer risk and the light alcohol consumption was associated with risks of esophageal, colorectal, prostate (male), and breast (female) cancer. These results emphasize the absence of a safe threshold for alcohol consumption in terms of cancer risk.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Exploring genetic associations of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with extraintestinal cancers in European and East Asian populations
    Chengdong Yu, Jiawei Xu, Siyi Xu, Lei Tang, Qinyuan Han, Xiaoqiang Zeng, Yanxiao Huang, Tenghua Yu, Zhengkui Sun
    Frontiers in Immunology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
Original Articles
Regional disparities in major cancer incidence in Korea, 1999-2018
Eun Hye Park, Mee Joo Kang, Kyu-Won Jung, Eun Hye Park, E Hwa Yun, Hye-Jin Kim, Hyun-Joo Kong, Chang Kyun Choi, Jeong-Soo Im, Hong Gwan Seo, The Community of Population-Based Regional Cancer Registries
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023089.   Published online October 12, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023089
  • 2,875 View
  • 130 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated regional disparities in the incidence of 8 major cancers at the municipal level in Korea during 1999-2018 and evaluated the presence or absence of hot spots of cancer clusters during 2014-2018.
METHODS
The Korea National Cancer Incidence Database was used. Age-standardized incidence rates were calculated by gender and region at the municipal level for 4 periods of 5 years and 8 cancer types. Regional disparities were calculated as both absolute and relative measures. The possibility of clusters was examined using global Moran’s I with a spatial weight matrix based on adjacency or distance.
RESULTS
Regional disparities varied depending on cancer type and gender during the 20-year study period. For men, the regional disparities of stomach, colon and rectum, lung, and liver cancer declined, and those of thyroid and prostate cancer recently decreased, despite an overall increasing incidence. For women, regional disparities in stomach, colon and rectum, lung, liver, and cervical cancer declined, that of thyroid cancer recently decreased, despite an overall increasing incidence, and that of breast cancer steadily increased. In 2014-2018, breast cancer (I, 0.61; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.53 to 0.70) showed a high probability of cancer clusters in women, and liver cancer (I, 0.48; 95% CI, 0.40 to 0.56) showed a high probability of cancer clusters in men.
CONCLUSIONS
Disparities in cancer incidence that were not seen at the national level were discovered at the municipal level. These results could provide important directions for planning and implementing local cancer policies.
Summary
Korean summary
이 연구는 한국 시군구 단위에서 지난 20년(1999-2018)간 주요 8개 암 발생률의 지역 간 격차를 조사하고, 최근 5년(2014-2018)의 암 발생 군집 가능성을 평가했습니다. 지역 간 격차는 여성에서 갑상선암, 남성에서는 폐암이 가장 큰 격차를 보였습니다. 군집 가능성은 여성의 경우 유방암, 남성의 경우 간암에서 가장 높았습니다. 전국 단위에서는 볼 수 없었던 지역 간 격차 및 군집 발생 가능성이 시군구 단위에서 발견되었고, 이러한 결과는 지역에 맞는 암 정책을 기획하고 실행하는 데 중요한 방향을 제시할 수 있을 것입니다.
Key Message
This study investigated regional disparities in the incidence of eight major cancers in Korea at the municipal level during 1999-2018 and assessed the possibility of cancer clusters during 2014-2018. Thyroid cancer in women and lung cancer in men showed the most significant regional disparities. Breast cancer in women and liver cancer in men displayed the highest possibility of clustering. Regional disparities and cancer clusters were identified locally, which were not detected nationally. These findings could provide valuable guidance for developing and implementing cancer policies that are tailored to local needs.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy and Risks of Various Cancers in Postmenopausal Women with De Novo or a History of Endometriosis
    Hee Joong Lee, Banghyun Lee, Hangseok Choi, Minkyung Lee, Kyungjin Lee, Tae Kyoung Lee, Sung Ook Hwang, Yong Beom Kim
    Cancers.2024; 16(4): 809.     CrossRef
  • What is the relationship between the local population change and cancer incidence in patients with dyslipidemia: Evidence of the impact of local extinction in Korea
    Wonjeong Jeong, Dong‐Woo Choi, Woorim Kim, Kyu‐Tae Han
    Cancer Medicine.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
Increased risk of cancer and cancer-related mortality in middle-aged Korean women with prediabetes and diabetes: a population-based study
Thi Xuan Mai Tran, Soyeoun Kim, Huiyeon Song, Boyoung Park
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023080.   Published online August 28, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023080
  • 1,929 View
  • 60 Download
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated the risk of developing and dying from all types of cancer, as well as cancer-specific mortality, in women diagnosed with prediabetes and diabetes.
METHODS
We included women aged ≥40 years who underwent cancer screening from 2009 to 2014 with follow-up until 2020. Diabetes status was determined based on fasting plasma glucose levels, self-reported history of diabetes, and the use of antidiabetic medication. We quantified the risk of cancer and mortality in the prediabetes and diabetes groups, relative to the normoglycemia group, by calculating adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs).
RESULTS
The study included 8,309,393 participants with a mean age of 52.7±9.7 years. Among these participants, 522,894 cases of cancer and 193,283 deaths were detected. An increased risk of cancer was observed in both the prediabetes group (aHR, 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 1.04) and the diabetes group (aHR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.14). The highest risk was identified in those with diabetes who developed liver (aHR, 1.72; 95% CI, 1.66 to 1.79), pancreatic (aHR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.60 to 1.76), and gallbladder cancer (aHR, 1.43; 95% CI, 1.36 to 1.51). Women with prediabetes and diabetes exhibited a 1.07-fold (95% CI, 1.05 to 1.08) and 1.38-fold (95% CI, 1.36 to 1.41) increased risk of death from cancer, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
Both prediabetes and diabetes were associated with an elevated risk of cancer, as well as an increased risk of death from cancer, in middle-aged Korean women. However, the degree of risk varied depending on the specific site of the cancer.
Summary
Korean summary
40세 이상의 중년 여성에서 당뇨 또는 당뇨 전 단계는 암 발생 위험과 암으로 인한 사망위험을 증가시킴. 암 종별로는 위암, 대장암, 직장암, 간암, 담낭암, 췌장암, 유방암, 자궁경부암, 자궁암, 신장암, 방광암의 발생 위험이 증가한 반면, 갑상선암의 발생 위험은 감소하였음. 거의 대부분의 암종에서 당뇨는 암으로 인한 사망위험을 증가시킴
Key Message
Both prediabetes and diabetes were independently associated with an overall increased risk of cancer, with a stronger association with malignancies in the liver and pancreas in women. Additionally, both prediabetes and diabetes status are associated with an elevated risk of death from cancer. These findings support the need for prevention and management to reduce cancer-related burden and premature deaths due to cancer, not only in individuals with diabetes but also in those with prediabetes.
Special Article
Genetically determined alcohol consumption and cancer risk in Korea
Keum Ji Jung, Ji Woo Baek, Sang Yop Shin, Sun Ha Jee
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023077.   Published online August 23, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023077
  • 4,359 View
  • 154 Download
  • 2 Web of Science
  • 2 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The purpose of this study was to determine the causal relationship between the genetically determined amount of alcohol consumption and the occurrence of major cancers.
METHODS
The data used in this study were from 129,324 people selected from the Korean Cancer Prevention Study-II, the participants of which visited 18 health examination centers between 2004 and 2013. Cancer incidence was confirmed as of 2020 using data from the National Cancer Center. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) on alcohol consumption was performed using PLINK 2.0, and sex, age, chip type, and principal components were adjusted.
RESULTS
From the GWAS, a genetic risk score for alcohol consumption was calculated and genetically determined alcohol consumption (GDAC) was estimated. GDAC was divided into quintile groups and showed significant causal relationships with rectal cancer and liver cancer, but not with other cancers. For liver cancer, an association was shown in the hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-negative group, and a particularly strong association was found in the over-60-year-old HBsAg-negative group, in which, compared to the GDAC Q1 group, the Q4 group had a 2.35 times higher risk (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.05 to 5.23), and the Q5 group had a 2.40 times higher risk (95% CI, 1.09 to 5.30).
CONCLUSIONS
The results of this study provided evidence that the amount of alcohol consumed is causally related to the occurrence of rectal cancer and liver cancer in HBsAg-negative individuals. Additional studies should be continued for other cancer types through long-term follow-up.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 유전적으로 결정되는 음주량과 주요 암 발생 사이의 인과 관계를 밝히고자 하였다. 그 결과 유전적으로 결정되는 음주량이 증가할수록 직장암 발생 위험이 높아졌고, 특히 HBsAg 음성인 사람에서 간암 발생 위험이 높아지는 것으로 밝혀졌다.
Key Message
The purpose of this study was to reveal the causal relationship between genetically determined alcohol consumption and the incidence of major cancers. As a result, it was found that as the genetically determined amount of alcohol consumed increases, the risk of rectal cancer increases, and especially in people who are HBsAg negative, the risk of liver cancer increases.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • A pan-cancer analysis of the prognostic implication and oncogenic role of tubulin epsilon and delta complex 2 (TEDC2) in human tumors
    Yang Liu, Jie Zhu, Jing Shen, Yuting Lu, Ke Pan, Chuan Tong, Yao Wang
    Frontiers in Immunology.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Cancer risk based on alcohol consumption levels: a comprehensive systematic review and meta-analysis
    Seunghee Jun, Hyunjin Park, Ui-Jeong Kim, Eun Jeong Choi, Hye Ah Lee, Bomi Park, Soon Young Lee, Sun Ha Jee, Hyesook Park
    Epidemiology and Health.2023; 45: e2023092.     CrossRef
Original Articles
Changes in metabolic syndrome and the risk of breast and endometrial cancer according to menopause in Korean women
Thi Xuan Mai Tran, Soyeoun Kim, Boyoung Park
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023049.   Published online May 1, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023049
  • 5,277 View
  • 136 Download
  • 3 Web of Science
  • 3 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated how changes in metabolic syndrome (MetS) are associated with the subsequent risk of breast and endometrial cancer according to menopausal status.
METHODS
This cohort study, using data from the National Health Insurance Service database, included women aged ≥40 years who underwent 2 biennial cancer screenings (2009-2010 and 2011-2012) and were followed up until 2020. Participants were grouped into MetS-free, MetS-recovery, MetS-development, and MetS-persistent groups. Menopausal status (premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal) was assessed at 2 screenings. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to assess the association between MetS changes and cancer risk.
RESULTS
In 3,031,980 women, breast and endometrial cancers were detected in 39,184 and 4,298, respectively. Compared with the MetS-free group, those who recovered, developed, or had persistent MetS showed an increased risk of breast cancer, with adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) of 1.05, 1.05, and 1.11, respectively (p<0.005). MetS persistence was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women (aHR, 1.12, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.08 to 1.16) but not in premenopausal or perimenopausal women. MetS persistence was associated with an increased risk of endometrial cancer in premenopausal, perimenopausal, and postmenopausal women, with aHRs of 1.41 (95% CI, 1.17 to 1.70), 1.59 (95% CI, 1.19 to 2.12), and 1.47 (95% CI, 1.32 to 1.63), respectively.
CONCLUSIONS
Increased breast cancer risk was associated with recovered, developed, and persistent MetS in postmenopausal women. Meanwhile, increased endometrial cancer risk was found in obese women who recovered from MetS or persistently had MetS, regardless of menopausal status, when compared to MetS-free women.
Summary
Korean summary
- 폐경후 여성에서 대사증후군이 회복되었거나, 지속적으로 대사증후군을 앓고 있거나, 대사증후군이 발병한 여성은 유방암 위험과 관련이 있었습니다. - 한편, 폐경 상태와 관계없이 대사증후군에서 회복되었거나 지속적으로 대사증후군를 앓고 있는 비만 여성은 대사증후군이 없는 여성에 비해 자궁내막암 위험이 증가하는 것으로 나타났습니다.
Key Message
- Increased breast cancer risk was associated with recovered, developed, and persistent MetS in postmenopausal women. - Increased endometrial cancer risk was found in obese women who recovered from MetS or persistently had MetS, regardless of menopausal status, when compared to MetS-free women.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
  • Metabolic Syndrome and Survival Outcomes in Endometrial Cancer
    Alina-Gabriela Marin, Alexandru Filipescu, Radu Vladareanu, Aida Petca
    Cureus.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Melatonin, BAG-1 and cortisol circadian interactions in tumor pathogenesis and patterned immune responses
    George Anderson
    Exploration of Targeted Anti-tumor Therapy.2023; : 962.     CrossRef
  • Changed Endocrinology in Postmenopausal Women: A Comprehensive View
    Vidhi Motlani, Gunjan Motlani, Soumya Pamnani, Akshat Sahu, Neema Acharya
    Cureus.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
Changes in the treatment rate of patients newly diagnosed with stage IV cancer near the end of life from 2012 to 2017 in Korea
Kyuwoong Kim, Hyun Jung Jho, So Jung Park, Bohyun Park, Jin Young Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2023;45:e2023021.   Published online February 14, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2023021
  • 4,643 View
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study aimed to evaluate changes in the cancer treatment rate among patients newly diagnosed with stage IV cancer using socio-demographic and clinical subgroups in a nationwide cohort of Korean patients.
METHODS
This retrospective, national-level study used the Korea Central Cancer Registry (KCCR), which is linked to the National Health Insurance Service (NHIS) database, from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2017. The records of patients newly diagnosed with stage IV of the 5 cancers with the highest cancer-related mortality rate were identified to analyze changes in the treatment rate. The main outcome examined in this study was the change in the cancer treatment rate between 2012 and 2017, as measured using the annual percent change (APC).
RESULTS
A total of 106,082 patients with newly diagnosed gastric, colorectal, liver, pancreatic, and lung cancers at the end of life (EoL) were identified from the KCCR-NHIS database. Of these patients, 76,533 (72.1%) received cancer treatment. Over the study period (2012-2017), the proportion of patients who received cancer treatment at EoL decreased by 8.3%, with an APC of -2.1% (95% confidence interval, -2.6 to -1.6). This declining trend of cancer treatment among patients with advanced cancer stage at EoL was consistent among socio-demographic and clinical subgroups.
CONCLUSIONS
The proportion of untreated patients with stage IV cancer is increasing in the Korea. For patients who are not undergoing standard cancer treatment near EoL, an alternative care plan, such as early palliative care, should be considered.
Summary
Korean summary
국민건강보험공단과 중앙암등록본부 자료를 활용하여 4기 암환자의 암 치료 비율 추이를 분석한 결과 2012년부터 2017년까지 위암, 대장암, 간암, 췌장암, 폐암으로 진단받은 4기 암환자들의 암 치료 비율의 연간비율변화는 8.3% 감소하는 것으로 나타났다. 이러한 결과는 인구사회학적 및 임상적 특성에 관계없이 일관되었다. 본 연구결과는 말기에 가까운 4기 암 환자들이 표준 치료를 받지 못하는 경우, 조기 완화의료와 같은 대안적인 계획을 고려할 필요가 있음을 시사한다.
Key Message
● Between 2012 and 2017, there was a significant decrease in the treatment rate among these patients, though most still received cancer treatment. ● Alternative clinical choices, such as the early utilization of hospice and palliative care, may improve quality of life and reduce the need for aggressive care for such patients.
Trends in breast cancer screening rates among Korean women: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2005-2020
Soo Yeon Song, Yun Yeong Lee, Hye Young Shin, Bomi Park, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi, Jae Kwan Jun
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022111.   Published online November 24, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022111
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Since 2002, the Korean government has provided breast cancer screening as part of the National Cancer Screening Program. This study reported trends in the screening rate among Korean women from 2005 to 2020, including organized and opportunistic screening for breast cancer.
METHODS
Data from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, an annual cross-sectional nationwide survey, were collected using a structured questionnaire between 2005 and 2020. The study population included 23,702 women aged 40-74 years with no history of cancer. We estimated the screening rate based on the current recommendation of biennial mammographic screening for breast cancer. In addition, a joinpoint trend analysis was performed for breast cancer screening rates among various subgroups.
RESULTS
In 2020, the breast cancer screening rate was 63.5%, reflecting an annual increase of 7.72% (95% confidence interval 5.53 to 9.95) between 2005 and 2012, followed by non-significant trends thereafter. In particular, a significant decrease in the breast cancer screening rate was observed in the subgroups aged 50-59 years old, with 12-15 years of education, and living in rural areas.
CONCLUSIONS
Although there has been substantial improvement in breast cancer screening rates in Korean women, the trend has flattened in recent years. Therefore, continual efforts are required to identify subgroups with unmet needs and solve barriers to the uptake of breast cancer screening.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 2005년에서 2020년까지 암검진수검행태조사 자료를 이용하여 40세 이상의 우리나라 여성의 유방암 검진 수검률이 추이에 대해 분석하였다. 우리나라 유방암 검진 수검률은 2020년 현재 63.5%이다. 하지만 지속적으로 증가하던 유방암 검진 수검률의 추이는 2012년 이후 정체되어 있으며 일부 사회경제적 계층에서는 감소하는 경향을 보였다.
Key Message
In Korea, despite of the high level of breast cancer screening rate, decreasing trends in some socioeconomic classes after 2012. Continual efforts are required to identify subgroup with unmet needs and barriers to the uptake of breast cancer screening.

Citations

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  • Why is the screening rate in lung cancer still low? A seven-country analysis of the factors affecting adoption
    Charlotte Poon, Tim Wilsdon, Iqra Sarwar, Alexander Roediger, Megan Yuan
    Frontiers in Public Health.2023;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Mammographic Breast Density and Risk of Ovarian Cancer in Korean Women
    Thi Xuan Mai Tran, Soyeoun Kim, Boyoung Park
    Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.2023; 32(12): 1690.     CrossRef
Effect of mammography screening on the long-term survival of breast cancer patients: results from the National Cancer Screening Program in Korea
Xuan Quy Luu, Kyeongmin Lee, Jae Kwan Jun, Mina Suh, Kyu-Won Jung, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022094.   Published online October 26, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022094
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AbstractAbstract PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
This study investigated the effect of mammography screening on the long-term survival of breast cancer (BC) patients aged 40 years or older according to their screening history and duration since screening.
METHODS
The study cohort was organized from 3 nationwide databases of the Korean National Cancer Screening Program, the Korean Central Cancer Registry, and death certificates. We included 24,387 women diagnosed with invasive BC or ductal carcinoma in situ in 2008 and 2009 and followed up until December 31, 2019. Cox proportional-hazards regression was used to investigate the effect of BC screening on the risk of death.
RESULTS
Overall, 20,916 of 24,387 patients (85.8%) were alive at the end of the follow-up period (median: 10.5 years). The long-term survival rate was significantly lower in the never-screened group (80.3%) than in the screened group (88.9%) (p<0.001). A 35% reduction in the risk of BC death (hazard ratio [HR], 0.65; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.60 to 0.70) from screening was observed. A subgroup analysis according to the cancer stage showed 62%, 36%, and 24% lower risks of BC death for the localized stage, regional stage, and distant stage, respectively. Women aged 40-49 years received the least benefit from BC screening (HR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.62 to 0.81).
CONCLUSIONS
Mammography screening was effective in reducing the risk of BC-specific death in Asian women across all cancer stages. However, this effect was relatively small among women in their 40s, suggesting that more detailed and specialized screening strategies are needed for that age group.
Summary
Data Profile
The National Hospice and Palliative Care registry in Korea
Kyuwoong Kim, Bohyun Park, Bonju Gu, Eun Jeong Nam, Sue Hyun Kye, Jin Young Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022079.   Published online September 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022079
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Abstract
The National Hospice and Palliative Care (NHPC) registry is a nationwide database in Korea that systematically collects information on terminally ill cancer patients receiving inpatient hospice care. From 2018 to 2020, a total of 47,911 patients were enrolled in the NHPC registry from hospitals providing inpatient hospice care. The NHPC database mainly contains the socio-demographic and clinical information of the registered patients. Among these patients, approximately 75% were 60 years or older, and the ratio of males to females was 1:1.41. Lung, liver, colorectal, pancreatic, and gastric cancer made up nearly 90% of the cancer sites among the registered patients. Upon their initial admission to the hospice ward, around 80% of the patients were aware of their terminal illness. About half of the patients had mild pain at the time of the initial admission to the hospice ward, and the duration of hospice care was 14 days (interquartile range, 6-30) in 2019 and 2020. The NHPC registry aims to provide national statistics on inpatient hospice care to assist health policy-making.
Summary
Korean summary
본 논문에서 소개된 국가 호스피스·완화의료 등록시스템은 국내 입원형 호스피스 환자의 인구사회학적 특성과 임상정보에 관한 정보를 포함하고 있습니다. 등록시스템은 국내 호스피스·완화의료 현황에 대한 국가통계 생산, 근거기반 호스피스·완화의료 정책 개발 및 연구 등에 활용될 수 있습니다.
Key Message
The National Hospice and Palliative Care registry contains information on demographics and clinical information of patients receiving inpatient hospice care in Korea. Along with its primary purpose to provide national statistics on the current status of hospice care in the country, the registry could also be used for evidence-based health policy or research pertaining to hospice in Korea.

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  • For the Universal Right to Access Quality End-of-Life Care in Korea: Broadening Our Perspective After the 2018 Life-Sustaining Treatment Decisions Act
    Hye Yoon Park, Min Sun Kim, Shin Hye Yoo, Jung Lee, In Gyu Song, So Yeon Jeon, Eun Kyung Choi
    Journal of Korean Medical Science.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
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    Il Yun, Eun-Cheol Park, Chung Mo Nam, Jaeyong Shin, Suk-Yong Jang, Sung-In Jang
    BMC Palliative Care.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
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    Yu Jung Kim, Sun-Hyun Kim
    Zeitschrift für Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualität im Gesundheitswesen.2023; 180: 68.     CrossRef
  • Changes in the Place of Death of Patients With Cancer After the Introduction of Insurance-Covered, Home-Based Hospice Care in Korea
    Il Yun, Sung-In Jang, Eun-Cheol Park, Suk-Yong Jang
    JAMA Network Open.2023; 6(11): e2341422.     CrossRef
  • Application of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) in Hospice and Palliative Care Settings
    So-Young Park
    The Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care.2023; 26(3): 140.     CrossRef
Systematic Review
Systematic review and meta-analysis of cancer risks in relation to environmental waste incinerator emissions: a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies
Kiook Baek, Jong-Tae Park, Kyeongmin Kwak
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022070.   Published online September 1, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022070
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Various toxic substances can be generated from incinerators, exposing nearby residents, and epidemiological studies have shown wide variations in risk estimates for cancer risk in populations living close to incinerators.
METHODS
Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a literature search and systematic review were conducted to identify studies conducted on general populations exposed to environmental incinerator emissions and cancer outcomes. Meta-analysis was performed according to the cancer types for which 2 or more studies were reported. Subgroup analysis was done for sex, the exposure estimation method, the study period, and the type of outcome.
RESULTS
Eleven studies were found for the qualitative review and meta-analysis. Seven studies had a case-control design, and 4 had a cohort design. The pooled effect size was not significant for breast, colorectal, liver, lung, lymphohematopoietic, stomach, bladder, central nervous system, and laryngeal cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sarcoma, leukemia, and all cancers. In the subgroup analysis, the pooled effect size of laryngeal cancer in females was 1.82 (95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 3.01), although only 2 studies were identified.
CONCLUSIONS
The meta-analysis did not provide evidence of an increased risk for any cancer among populations living near waste incinerators, except for laryngeal cancer in females. However, since relatively few studies were reviewed and some cancer types showed significant increases in individual studies, this evidence needs to be updated regularly.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 현재까지 소각장 인근 주민들의 암 위험도에 대해 보고된 환자-대조군 연구 및 코호트 연구를 체계적 문헌고찰과 메타분석법을 활용하여 분석하였다. 총 11개의 문헌에서 보고한 암 위험도를 암종별로 분석한 결과 소각장 인근 거주로 인한 암 위험도 상승이 유의하게 상승한 암종은 없었다. 세부 그룹 분석에서 여성의 후두암이 비록 단 2개 문헌에서만 보고하고 있었지만 유의한 상승을 보였다. 본 연구는 현재까지 논란이 많은 소각장 인근 거주와 암 발생 위험도의 증가에 대해 관찰연구로서 생태학적 연구를 배제하고 비교적 역학적 증거로서 가치가 높은 연구방법인 환자-대조군 연구와 코호트 연구를 고찰한 의의가 있으며, 본 연구의 방법론을 활용하면 추후 같은 주제의 증거를 지속적으로 갱신하여 종합할 수 있으리라 기대한다.
Key Message
This meta-analysis showed a lack of evidence of elevated risk of specific cancers after pooling the effect sizes by cancer type, except for laryngeal cancer in women. However, due to the small number of included studies, the evidence needs to be monitored and updated on a regular basis in the future.
COVID-19: Original Article
The impact of COVID-19 on screening for colorectal, gastric, breast, and cervical cancer in Korea
Hyeree Park, Seung Hee Seo, Jong Heon Park, Shin Hye Yoo, Bhumsuk Keam, Aesun Shin
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022053.   Published online June 21, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022053
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  • 14 Web of Science
  • 15 Crossref
AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has affected the utilization of healthcare services, including participation in cancer screening programs. We compared cancer screening participation rates for colorectal, gastric, breast, and cervical cancers among participants in the National Cancer Screening Program (NCSP) in 2019 and 2020 to address the potential distraction effect of COVID-19 on cancer screening.
METHODS
Data from the NCSP for 4 cancer types (stomach, colorectal, breast, and cervical) in 2019 and 2020 were used to calculate cancer screening participation rates by calendar month, gender, age group, and geographical region. Monthly participation rates were analyzed per 1,000 eligible individuals.
RESULTS
The screening participation rate decreased in 2020 compared to 2019 for all 4 cancers: colorectal (40.5 vs. 35.3%), gastric (61.9 vs. 54.6%), breast (63.8 vs. 55.8%), and cervical (57.8 vs. 52.2%) cancers. Following 2 major COVID-19 waves in March and December 2020, the participation rates in the 4 types of cancer screening dropped compared with those in 2019. The highest decline was observed in the elderly population aged 80 years and older (percentage change: -21% for colorectal cancer; -20% for gastric cancer; -26% for breast cancer; -20% for cervical cancer).
CONCLUSIONS
After the 2 major COVID-19 waves, the screening participation rate for 4 types of cancer declined compared with 2019. Further studies are needed to identify the indirect effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on cancer patients, such as delayed diagnoses of cancer or excess cancer deaths.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구는 코로나 대유행 기간 전과 후 대장암, 위암, 유방암, 자궁경부암 검진 수검률 차이를 비교하고자 하였다. 첫 코로나 확진자가 발생한 2020년을 코로나 대유행 기간, 전년도 기간인 2019년을 코로나 대유행 전 기간으로 설정하며 국민건강보험공단에서 집계된 전수자료를 이용하여 암 검진 대상자 수와 수검자 수를 비교 분석하였다. 4개 암종 모두에서 2019년도와 비교하여 2020년도에 전국적으로 수검률이 감소하는 경향이 있었으며, 1차 대유행이 있었던 3월과 3차 대유행 시기인 12월에 2019년도 동기간과 비교하여 수검률이 크게 감소하였고, 80대 이상 노인 인구에서 감소폭이 다른 연령대와 비교하여 크게 나타났다.
Key Message
We found decline of the colorectal, gastric, breast and cervical cancer screening participation rates in 2020 following the two major COVID-19 waves, compared with those of 2019, and the highest decline was observed in the elderly population aged 80 years and older.

Citations

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  • Emergency department visits of newly diagnosed cardiovascular disease patients in Korea during the COVID-19 pandemic
    Ji Yoon Baek, Seung Hee Seo, Sooyoung Cho, Jun-Bean Park, Bhumsuk Keam, Shin Hye Yoo, Aesun Shin
    Scientific Reports.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Decline in Cancer Diagnoses during the ‘Zero COVID’ Policy in Hong Kong: Indirect Spillover Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic
    H.M. Youn, Y. Zhang, A. Liu, C.S. Ng, J. Liang, G.K.K. Lau, S.F. Lee, J. Lok, C.L.K. Lam, E.Y.F. Wan, J. Quan
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    Jinah Sim, Jihye Shin, Hyun Jeong Lee, Yeonseung Lee, Young Ae Kim, Chong-Chi Chiu
    PLOS ONE.2024; 19(2): e0296808.     CrossRef
  • Access to colorectal cancer screening in populations in China, 2020: A coverage‐focused synthesis analysis
    Yan‐Jie Li, Xin Wang, Yu‐Jie Wu, Xin‐Yi Zhou, Jibin Li, Jiangmei Qin, Wanghong Xu, Jie‐Bin Lew, Wanqing Chen, Ju‐Fang Shi
    International Journal of Cancer.2024;[Epub]     CrossRef
  • Analysis of the current situation and related influencing factors of cervical precancer screening under the COVID-19
    Xiaohong Song, Yongbin Yang
    Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews.2023; : 1.     CrossRef
  • Willingness to Undergo Gastroscopy for Early Gastric Cancer Screening and Its Associated Factors During the COVID-19 Pandemic – A Nationwide Cross-Sectional Study in China
    Kejia Ma, Xuejie Chen, Xin Xiang, Xueyi Mao, Ningxin Zhu, Tianyu Wang, Shuyu Ye, Xiaoyan Wang, Minzi Deng
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    Misuzu Fujita, Hideyuki Hashimoto, Kengo Nagashima, Kiminori Suzuki, Tokuzo Kasai, Kazuya Yamaguchi, Yoshihiro Onouchi, Daisuke Sato, Takehiko Fujisawa, Akira Hata
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    Byung Soo Yoo, Ankit Patel, Kevin V. Houston, Alejandra Vargas, Ana Rosa Vilela Sangay, Steve M. D’Souza, David A. Johnson
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    Moonki Hong, Mingee Choi, JiHyun Lee, Kyoo Hyun Kim, Hyunwook Kim, Choong-Kun Lee, Hyo Song Kim, Sun Young Rha, Gyu Young Pih, Yoon Jin Choi, Da Hyun Jung, Jun Chul Park, Sung Kwan Shin, Sang Kil Lee, Yong Chan Lee, Minah Cho, Yoo Min Kim, Hyoung-Il Kim,
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  • Trends in breast cancer screening rates among Korean women: results from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey, 2005-2020
    Soo Yeon Song, Yun Yeong Lee, Hye Young Shin, Bomi Park, Mina Suh, Kui Son Choi, Jae Kwan Jun
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COVID-19: Original Article
Changes in cancer screening before and during COVID‐19: findings from the Korean National Cancer Screening Survey 2019 and 2020
Thao Thi Kim Trinh, Yun Yeong Lee, Mina Suh, Jae Kwan Jun, Kui Son Choi
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022051.   Published online May 30, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022051
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has negatively affected every aspect of medical care. However, information regarding the impact of the pandemic on cancer screening is lacking. This study aimed to explore cancer screening changes by geographic region before and during the pandemic in Korea.
METHODS
Korean National Cancer Screening Survey data for 2019 and 2020 were used. Changes in the screening rate before and during the COVID-19 pandemic were calculated by subtracting the rate in 2020 from the rate in 2019. Multivariate logistic regression analyses examined the differences in screening rates at the national and 16 provincial levels before and after the COVID-19 outbreak.
RESULTS
The 1-year screening rates for the four types of cancer decreased during the pandemic (stomach cancer: -5.1, colorectal cancer: -3.8, breast cancer: -2.5, cervical cancer: -1.5%p). In metropolitan areas, the odds of undergoing screening tests during the pandemic were significantly lower than before the pandemic for stomach (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 0.66; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.56 to 0.76), colorectal (aOR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.50 to 0.79), and breast cancers (aOR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60 to 0.94). Furthermore, the likelihood of undergoing stomach cancer screening during the pandemic was significantly lower than before the pandemic in non-metropolitan urban areas (aOR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.70 to 0.94), while it was higher in rural areas (aOR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.10 to 2.16).
CONCLUSIONS
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the cancer screening rate has decreased significantly, especially in large cities. Public health efforts are required to improve cancer screening rates.
Summary
Korean summary
• 코로나 대유행 이전과 이후의 최근 1년간 암검진 수검률을 비교한 결과, 위암 (5% 포인트), 대장암 (3.8% 포인트), 유방암 (2.5% 포인트), 자궁경부암 (1.5% 포인트) 수검률이 통계적으로 유의하게 감소하였음 • 특히 위암, 대장암, 유방암의 경우 대도시 지역에서의 수검률이 현저하게 감소하였음
Key Message
The 1-year screening rates for stomach, colorectal, breast, and cervical cancer decreased significantly during the pandemic in Korea, especially in large cities.

Citations

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  • Mining Google Trends data for nowcasting and forecasting colorectal cancer (CRC) prevalence
    Cristiana Tudor, Robert Aurelian Sova
    PeerJ Computer Science.2023; 9: e1518.     CrossRef
Systematic Review
Quantifying the duration of the preclinical detectable phase in cancer screening: a systematic review
Sandra M. E. Geurts, Anne M. W. M. Aarts, André L. M. Verbeek, Tony H. H. Chen, Mireille J. M. Broeders, Stephen W. Duffy
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022008.   Published online January 3, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022008
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDFSupplementary Material
Abstract
OBJECTIVES
The aim of this study was to provide an overview of published mathematical estimation approaches to quantify the duration of the preclinical detectable phase (PCDP) using data from cancer screening programs.
METHODS
A systematic search of PubMed and Embase was conducted for original studies presenting mathematical approaches using screening data. The studies were categorized by mathematical approach, data source, and assumptions made. Furthermore, estimates of the duration of the PCDP of breast and colorectal cancer were reported per study population.
RESULTS
From 689 publications, 34 estimation methods were included. Five distinct types of mathematical estimation approaches were identified: prevalence-to-incidence ratio (n=8), maximum likelihood estimation (n=16), expectation-maximization algorithm (n=1), regression of observed on expected (n=6) and Bayesian Markov-chain Monte Carlo estimation (n=5). Fourteen studies used data from both screened and unscreened populations, whereas 19 studies included only information from a screened population. Estimates of the duration of the PCDP varied between 2 years and 7 years for breast cancer in the Health Insurance Plan study (annual mammography and clinical breast examinations in women aged 40-64 years) and 2 years and 5 years for colorectal cancer in the Calvados study (a guaiac fecal occult blood test in men and women aged 45-74 years).
CONCLUSIONS
Different types of mathematical approaches lead to different estimates of the PCDP duration. We advise researchers to use the method that matches the data available, and to use multiple methods for estimation when possible, since no method is perfect.
Summary
Key Message
Quantifying the duration of the preclinical detectable phase is important for the design and evaluation of cancer screening programs. Different types of mathematical estimation approaches lead to different estimates of the preclinical detectable phase duration. We advise researchers to use the method that matches the data available, and to use multiple methods for estimation when possible, since no method is perfect.

Citations

Citations to this article as recorded by  
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Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health