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J Gastric Cancer. 2019 Mar;19(1):92-101. English. Original Article.
Eom BW , Jung KW , Won YJ , Kim YW .
Center for Gastric Cancer, National Cancer Center, Goyang, Korea.
Cancer Registration and Statistics Branch, National Cancer Control Institute, Goyang, Korea.
Department of Cancer Control and Population Health, Graduate School of Cancer Science and Policy, Goyang, Korea.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the trend of non-compliance with treatment (NCT) among gastric cancer patients in the Korean population.

Materials and Methods

Using data from the Korea Central Cancer Registry from 1999 to 2015, patients who did not receive any treatment for gastric cancer within 4 months after diagnosis were defined as the NCT group. The annual incidence rate, distributions according to age group and stage, and 5-year relative survival of the patients exhibiting NCT were analyzed.


The number of NCT patients was 5,871 (30.6%) in 1999 and continuously decreased to 4,434 (15.3%) in 2015. Between 2006 and 2015, the proportions of NCT patients decreased from 72.9% to 55.0% among those 80 years old or older and from 9.2% to 5.4% among patients younger than 40 years. In patients with distant metastases, this proportion decreased from 35.5% to 32.7%, and this proportion also decreased from 17.6% to 8.2% among those with localized disease. The 5-year relative survival rates of NCT patients between 2011 and 2015 were significantly lower than those of the treated patients in each stage (60.2% vs. 99.7%, 13.8% vs. 67.1%, and 2.0% vs. 8.3% among those with localized, regional, and distant disease, respectively).


The proportion of NCT gastric cancer patients has decreased during the last 16 years. However, considerable numbers of elderly patients are still NCT. There must be a strategy to decrease NCT and improve the nationwide survival rate of patients with gastric cancer.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.