30 099 new cancer cases reported in Norway in 2012

In the annual report for 2012 the Cancer Registry of Norway (CRN) provides incidence data on different cancers and the latest survival data.
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In the annual report for 2012 the Cancer Registry of Norway (CRN) provides incidence data on different cancers and the latest survival data.

Incidence/Cumulative risk

A total of 30 099 new cancer cases were reported in 2012: 54.8 per cent were among men and 45.2 per cent among women. The rates for 2012 show that prostate, lung, colon and malignant melanoma were the most common cancers in men, whereas breast, lung, colon cancer and malignant melanoma were the most common cancers in women.

The relative impact of cancers, however, varies considerably by age.

Among children (0-14 years of age) cancer in the central nervous system and leukemia were the most common. These represent 54 per cent and 60 per cent of all cancer cases in boys and girls, respectively.

In males aged 15-49 years testicular cancer was the most common cancer, whereas prostate cancer was most common in middle aged and older men.

In females, cancer in the central nervous system and Hodgkin lymphoma were the most common cancer types among 15-24 years old. Among 25-69 years old breast cancer was most common, and among the oldest women (70+) colon cancer was the most common cancer.

Cancer trends should be interpreted by examining rates over the past several years. This is because there is some random variation in incidence rates from one year to the next. Further, the numbers for 2012 might be underreported due to delayed notification of cancer cases.

The incidence rate for all sites combined has increased by 4.5 per cent in men and 2.3 per cent in women from the past five-year period (2003-2007) to the current one (2008-2012). For the most common cancers in men, the largest incidence increase in rates was observed for malignant melanoma, kidney, prostate and non-melanoma skin cancer. On the positive side, the rates for lung and bladder cancer showed a small reduction and the rates for rectal cancer has stabilised.

In women, the strongest increase occurred in incidence rates of malignant melanoma, leukaemia, skin non-melanoma and lung cancer, and only a slight increase was observed for colon cancer. A reduction in rates was seen for central nervous system, ovary, rectum, and breast cancer (see Table 14 ).

The probability of developing cancer before the age of 75 is 35 per cent in men and 29 per cent in women.

Mortality

There were 10 906 deaths from cancer in Norway in 2012. Cancer of the lung, colon, rectum, prostate and female breast account for 50 per cent of the mortality.

Survival

This year’s statistics confirm the trend we have seen over a number of years: Survival continues to increase.

There is improved survival for almost all cancers, including breast, prostate, lung, colon and rectal cancer.

This long term increase is partially due to improved treatment over time, but for breast and prostate cancer it is also due to screening. Increased attention to cancer in the population as well as among health care providers may also play a role.

From the period 2003-2007 to 2008-2012 the estimated relative survival increased from:

  • 87 to 89 per cent for breast cancer in women
  • 83 to 91 per cent for prostate cancer
  • 14 to 18 per cent for lung cancer in women
  • 10 to 12 per cent for lung cancer in men
  • 65 to 68 per cent for rectal cancer in women
  • 61 to 65 per cent for rectal cancer in men
  • 59 to 63 per cent for colon cancer in women
  • 58 to 60 per cent for colon cancer in men

Prevalence

At the end of 2012 more than 224 000 Norwegians were alive after having had at least one cancer diagnosis at one point in time.