This study was conducted to examine recent trends in ovarian cancer incidence and mortality and secular trends in demographic factors in Korea.
With the data from Korea Central Cancer Registry, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Korean Death Registry, and World Health Organization's Statistical Information System, we calculated age-standardized incidence and mortality rates for ovarian cancer. Also we estimated future incidence of ovarian and cervical cancer using linear regression model. To assess the demographic trend, data from national surveys in Korea or results from published papers were searched.
Ovarian cancer incidence rate was similar to that in women worldwide but lower than those in Western countries, and the trend has been increased steadily. Ovarian cancer-related mortality rates have been increasing in Korea, even though those in western and some Asian countries, such as China, have been decreasing. Age-specific incidence rate and mortality rate showed steep increases with advancing age. The incidence rate of ovarian cancer was estimated to surpass that of uterine cervix cancer in 2015. Korea showed rapid changes in nutritional, reproductive, and anthropometric factors.
These recent trends in ovarian cancer incidence and mortality may be partly attributed to gradual westernizing of life styles and to changes in socio-demographic behavior factors. In particular, the increasing trend in ovarian cancer mortality in Korea may be attributed to a real rise in mortality as well as, in part, a decline in misclassification bias related to an increase in the proportion of deaths confirmed by physician diagnosis.