Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyze the trend of research on cancer prevention and early detection in Korea, in order to suggest a future direction of research on cancer prevention and early detection for Koreans. Methods: A total of 97 studies published from 1980 to 2001 were analyzed according to the year of publication, research design, journal type, cancer type, major study concepts, and findings. Results: 1) The number of studies related to cancer prevention and early detection had increased rapidly since the year 1995. 2) The most frequently used research design in the studies was the descriptive study design (55.7%). 3) There were 10 master's theses on cancer prevention and early detection, and 10 studies published in the Korean Epidemiology Journal. 4) When classified by the published field, 47 studies (48.5%) were published in nursing journals, 46 studies (47.4%) were published in medical journals, and 4 studies (4.1%) were published in public health journals. 5) The major topics of the studies were cancer prevention (51.5%), early detection (44.4%), and cancer prevention and early detection (4.1%). 6) Breast cancer was the most largely addressed issue in the studies (N=25; 25.7%), followed by lung cancer (N=23; 23.7%), hepatoma (N=17; 17.5%), gastric cancer (N=16; 16.5%), other general type of cancer (N=6; 6.2%), colorectal cancer (N=5; 5.2%) and cervical cancer (N=5; 5.2%). Conclusion: It is suggested that there should be more studies on cancer prevention and early detection in the future, and, particularly, experimental studies to exam the effects of intervention on cancer prevention and early detection are considered necessary.
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