We estimated the burden of diseases in Korea especially caused by major cancers using DALY (disability adjusted life year) measurement. Firstly, the burden of disease due to premature death was estimated by using YLLs (years life lost due to premature death) measurement developed by the global burden of disease study group. Secondly, for the calculation of the YLD (years lived with disability), the following parameters were estimated in the formula; incidence rate, case fatality rate and disability weight of major cancers. Thirdly, we estimated DALY of major cancers by adding YLLs and YLDs. The burden of major cancers for male per 100,000 population was attributed mainly to liver cancer (528.8 person-year), stomach cancer (451.4 person-year), and lung cancer (374.9 person-year). The burden of major cancers for female per 100,000 population was attributed mainly to liver cancer (140.0 person-year), stomach cancer (259.7 person-year), and lung cancer (125.2 person-year). Each of these cancers was responsible for the loss of over 100 person-year per 100,000 population based on our DALY measurement. We found the DALY method employed was appropriate to quantify the burden of disease. Thereby, it would provide a rational bases to plan a national health policy regarding the burden of disease caused by major cancers in Korea.
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