While cancer survival rates are up in most countries, Korea has shown a significant increase above that of other nations. Five year survival rates are the gold standard. Surviving to five years after first being diagnosed is a standard measure of how effective treatment measures are. These numbers have surged recently in South Korea.
From 2001to 2005, the five year survival rate for cancer patients as a group was an average of 54%. In the period from 2010 to 2014, the most recent for which numbers are available, that rate rose to just over 70%. The Ministry of Health announced the increase recently citing new methods of treatment, and early detection as factors, but more importantly new attitudes. Patients are more informed about their health and take a more active role in their recovery. In addition there is more government support for treating low-income patients and providing better care for those patients who are terminally ill, allowing them more time with family and loved ones.