Socioeconomic Burden of Cancer in Korea from 2011 to 2015

Young Ae Kim, Ye Rin Lee, Jeongjoo Park, In Hwan Oh, Hoseob Kim, Seok Jun Yoon, Keeho Park

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Original Article Purpose Though the socioeconomic burden of cancer on patients is increasing in South Korea, there is little research regarding the type of cancer that incurs the highest costs. This study analyzed the socioeconomic burden on cancer patients from 2011 to 2015 according to sex and age. Materials and Methods A prevalence-based approach was applied utilizing claim data of the National Health Insurance Service in Korea to estimate the socioeconomic burden of cancer on patients. Patients who received treatment for cancer from 2011 to 2015 were the study subjects. The total socioeconomic burden of their disease and treatment was divided into direct and indirect costs. Results There was an increase of 50.7% for 5 years, from 821,525 to 1,237,739 cancer patients. The cancer costs for men and women increased $8,268.4 million to $9,469.7 million and $3,626.5 million to $4,475.6 million, respectively. Furthermore, the 50-59-year-old age group accounted for a large portion of the total disease cost. Liver, lung, stomach, and colorectal cancers created the heaviest economic burdens on patients. Conclusion Overall, this study indicates new policies for cancer prevention, early detection, and postcancer treatment management are necessary to help limit the costs associated with cancer, especially in the elderly, and provides a foundation for establishing cancer-related health care policies, particularly by defining those cancers with heavier disease burdens.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)896-906
    Number of pages11
    JournalCancer Research and Treatment
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jul 1

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    This work was supported by grants from the National Cancer Center, Republic of Korea (grant numbers 16103103 and 19101711).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 Korean Cancer Association. All rights reserved.


    • Cancer
    • Cancer prevalence
    • Cost of illness
    • Socioeconomic burden

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Oncology
    • Cancer Research


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