The study of cancer in patients treated with dialysis in Korea has not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and mortality of cancer among patients on dialysis in Korea. The study subjects were 106 cancer patients (2.3%) out of 4,562 end-stage renal disease (ESRD) patients maintained on hemodialysis (HD) or peritoneal dialysis (PD) at Yonsei University Health System from 1996 to 2005. We excluded patients in whom the diagnosis of cancer preceded dialysis or those who received renal allograft or started dialysis after renal allograft. Seventy-three (69%) of our subjects were male and 33 (31%) were female. The mean age at the time of cancer diagnosis was 57.9±11.7 yr. The mean time from the start of dialysis to the diagnosis of cancer was 75.2±63.9 months. The most common cancer site was gastrointestinal tract (GIT) (51%) followed by urinary tract (20%), lung (8%), and thyroid (7%). Sixty nine percent of the total mortality was due to cancer. The mean time from diagnosis to death was 2.9±2.5 yr. In ESRD patients with cancer, there were no significant differences in mortality rates by dialysis modality. In ESRD patients, the most common cancer was GIT cancer followed by urinary tract cancer. Therefore, careful surveillance of these cancers in ESRD patients is highly recommended.
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