SEOUL, Dec. 11 (Korea Bizwire) — A recent survey showed that the severity of cancer at the time of initial diagnosis differs by the patient’s income.
All.Can Korea, a civic group devoted to tackling inefficient environments for treating cancer, conducted a survey of 495 cancer patients, 38.1 percent of whom had their first tumor discovered after experiencing subjective symptoms.
Those in lower income brackets tended to experience subjective symptoms first before being diagnosed with cancer.
Only 27 percent of patients making more than 6 million won (US$5,500) per month experienced subjective symptoms before being diagnosed. The percentage rose to 44.4 percent for patients making less than 3 million won per month.
Patients with higher income had a relatively higher tendency to find cancer at an earlier stage.
Among patients making less than 3 million won per month, 35.5 percent were diagnosed with a stage 1 tumor. The percentage rose to 57.8 percent for those making more than 6 million won per month.
Lower income patients were also more likely to be diagnosed with stage 3 or 4 cancer.
The data showed that 18.2 percent of patients making less than 3 million won were diagnosed with cancer that had already spread at the initial diagnosis. This proportion dropped to 8.4 percent among those making more than 6 million won.
“Lower income earners tend to get tested only after they experience subjective symptoms, indicating a larger risk of severe cancer or cancer spread,” said Prof. Cheong Yoo-seok from Dankook University Hospital.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)