Thyroid, breast cancers concentrated in metropolis

Thyroid and breast cancer more frequently occurred among people living in major South Korean metropolises compared to other areas, a report showed Tuesday.

According to the report by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the National Cancer Center, the number of cancer outbreaks in major cities were 15 times higher than those in other areas.

People enjoy fishing at the Nakdong River. (Yonhap file photo) People enjoy fishing at the Nakdong River. (Yonhap file photo)

The report was based on data collected from 1999 to 2013 in an aim to identify clusters of cancer outbreaks based on geographic information.

Thyroid cancer most frequently occurred in the capital city of Seoul, Daejon and Daegu, the data showed.

By contrast, gallbladder and liver cancers were more common among residents in coastal and riverside areas.

Notably, residents along the Nakdong River in southeast South Korea showed an exceptionally high ratio of bile duct cancer, as eating raw fish is popular in the region, officials and doctors say.

The ministry said the increase in the number of thyroid cancer patients in urban areas may be due to advances in medical science, with more people receiving regular medical checkups.

The report showed that 2.9 out of 100,000 men had thyroid cancer from 1999 to 2003, compared to 24.3 out of 100,000 from 2009 to 2013. The number of women with thyroid cancer jumped six-fold during the cited period.

Most male thyroid cancer patients from 2009 to 2013 were located in the southern district of Gangnam in Seoul, data showed.

The outbreak of breast and prostate cancers was the highest in Gangnam, as wells as Gyeonggi Province surrounding Seoul, the report showed.

The ministry attributed the increased in breast cancer cases in the region to the low birth rate.

The ministry said it has tried to find the correlation between the outbreak of cancer with various factors such as smoking rate and diet, but has failed to come up with results.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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