Last updated date: 08-Oct-2021

Originally Written in English

Breast Cancer Treatments in Korea

  • Breast Cancer

  • CloudHospital

  • Global Healthcare Nexus

What is breast cancer? According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, breast cancer is a disease in which cells in the breast grow out of control. There are different types of breast cancer, which depends on which cells in the breast turn into cancer.

Breast cancer may begin in different parts of the breast. A breast is made up of three main parts: lobules, ducts, and connective tissue. The lobules are the glands that produce milk. The ducts are tubes that carry milk to the nipple. The connective tissue, which consists of fibrous and fatty tissue which surrounds and holds everything together. Most breast cancers begin in the ducts or lobules. Breast cancer can spread outside the breast through blood vessels and lymph vessels. When breast cancer spreads to other parts of the body, it is said to have metastasized. Thus, the two most common types of cancers are: 

    Invasive ductal carcinoma - cancer cells grow outside the ducts into other parts of the breast tissue as well as to other parts of the body.

    Invasive lobular carcinoma - cancer cells spread from the lobules to the nearby breast tissues and other parts of the body.

What are some of the common symptoms? People may have differing symptoms of breast cancer while some do not have any symptoms at all. Some of the symptoms are:

    New lump in the breast or armpit.

    Swelling of part of the breast.

    Irritation or dimpling of breast skin.

    Redness or flaky skin in the nipple area or the breast.

    Pulling in of the nipple or pain in the nipple area.

    Nipple discharge other than breast milk, including blood.

    Any change in the size or the shape of the breast.

    Pain in any area of the breast.

However, these symptoms can happen with other conditions that are not from breast cancer.

Amidst the global problem with many patients undergoing breast cancer, Korea is at the forefront of treating the disease with several hospitals recording excellent survival rates when compared to the rest of the world. Hospitals such as Samsung Medical Center,  Yonsei Severance Hospital, and others rank at the top of survival rates. For example, Samsung Medical Center’s Breast Cancer Center treats around 2,000 patients annually, treating more than 15,000 patients to date. All treatments are patient-centric and rely on strong interdepartmental multidisciplinary cooperation to achieve the best results. To optimize patient prognosis and recovery, the hospital provides not only internationally approved treatments that meet or exceed global health standards, but also participates in various multinational clinical studies. Respecting the special significance the breast has for many women, the Breast Cancer Center also does everything within its ability to preserve or reconstruct the aesthetic appearance of the breast after treatment in order to make the patient’s social and psychological recovery from surgery as seamless as possible.

Equally dedicated to the seamless treatment of breast cancer, Yonsei University health System’s Breast Cancer Clinic works under the motto of “Perfect Treatment and Complete Restoration”. All the related medical staffs of the Breast Cancer Clinic get together in one space and participate in the regular discussion for patient treatment. Also, the clinic has built the “One Stop Service System” that performs most of medical tests on the same day of medical examination and treatment and the all-time treatment system that allows patients to have medical examination and treatment services on the day desired, in order for patients to lead a complete life mentally and physically.

Many hospitals in Korea are very well equipped and are staffed with doctors with expertise in the field. According to Korea IT Times, during an interview with Ewha Women’s University Medical Center’s Dr. Paik Nam-sun has mentioned that:

“Korean medical skill surpasses that of the Americans, Europeans, or Japanese – especially in the fields of gastric and breast cancers. Ewha Women’s University is 130 years old, and the hospital is 129 years old. As a university hospital, we are very experienced. Also, at other hospitals, patients keep their street clothes on during their consultation and, perhaps, take some x-rays. Here, the protocol is for the women to change into hospital gowns. They are then given a physical examination. These things are extremely important. We have a highly developed and structured process, and ultimately this gives women peace of mind. They have confidence in us. More importantly, as the only cancer center for women in Korea, we have been able to specifically focus on women’s issues. For breast cancer, our results speak for themselves. The 5-year survival rate is about 91% and the 10-year survival rate is about 84%. Globally, those are top results in the field of breast cancer treatment.”

If breast cancer treatment in Korea is an option you are considering, you can consider CloudHospital to seamlessly coordinate your experience in Korea. CloudHospital is the global healthcare nexus on the web, easily accessible 24/7 and staffed with highly experienced professionals in the field of medical treatment access across the globe.