Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Something in the water?

According to a gushing report from the PR Newswire (which, by nature, are supposed to be gushing and effusive), South Korea has the world's highest rates of cancer survivability:
The Korean government recently announced that the survival rate of Korean cancer patients had improved from 59.5% in 2008 to 62.0% in 2009, while the cancer mortality rate showed a 19% decrease in 2006 and a 21% decrease in 2008. In addition, the 2011 Health Care Quality Indicators released by OECD member countries indicated that Korea excelled in the treatment of uterine cancer and that its survival rate for stomach cancer, 65.3%, well surpassed those of the USA (26%), Europe (24.9%), Japan (62.1%) and Canada (22%). In addition, the survival rate from thyroid cancer in Korea is 99.7% while that of breast cancer is 90.6%.

Similarly, Korean Ministry of Health & Welfare carried out an interim assessment of the '10-Year Plan to Conquer Cancer' and found out that the plan had exceeded its initial objective in 2011. Thus, the Ministry upgraded the survival rate target by 2015 from 54% to 67% following the deliberation by the National Cancer Management Committee. Cancer survival rate refers to the percentage of people able to survive five years after being diagnosed with and treated for cancer. It actually means the complete recovery rate.

Such excellent survival rates for Korean cancer patients have been due to the continuous efforts of the government to manage cancer and advance the medical technology. Korea has been building its reputation in robot-assisted surgery, a cutting edge cancer treatment technology, which has every year attracted many medical experts from Japan, Taiwan and many other countries to the National Cancer Center to learn the robot-assisted surgical techniques.
If this is true, it certainly bodes well for medical tourism in the country.

Meanwhile, over at The Huffington Post where they are singing the virtues of Korean spas, they seem to be suggesting it really is something in the water.

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