Cancer in Norway 2009
In this annual report the Cancer Registry of Norway delivers incidence data on the different cancer diseases and the latest survival data.
There were 27 520 new cancer cases registered in 2009: 54 per cent were among men and 46 per cent among women. The five most common cancer types, in descending order, are for men: prostate, lunge, colon, bladder, skin, and for women: breast, colon, lunge, skin and uterus cancer. Incidental annual variations may occur from one year to the next. In addition, previous year’s numbers will always increase due to delayed notification of cancer cases. When interpreting the cancer statistics, one should look at the cancer development over the past several years.
The incidence rate has increased by 7 per cent in men and three per cent in women from the past five-year period (2000-2004) until the last (2005-2009).
In men one sees the largest incidence increase in cancer of the prostate (23 per cent) and malignant melanoma (15 per cent). On the positive side, the rates for rectum and lung cancer show a small reduction of 5 and 4 per cent, respectively. The rates for colon and bladder cancer have levelled off and are only slightly changed in the period 2005-2009, compared to 2000-2004.
In women we see the strongest increase in incidence of lung cancer (13 per cent) and malignant melanoma (9 per cent). For the first time since the Cancer Registry started registering breast cancer, we saw in 2006 the beginning of a reduction in incidence. The five year period 2005-2009 shows a rate reduction of 4 percent compared to the previous five year period.
Norwegian women have one of the world’s highest cancer incidence of the colon and rectum. However, we are finally seeing a levelling off regarding these types of cancer as there is no increase in the rates the last five years compared to the preceding period.
Among children (0-14years of age) cancer in the central nervous system and leukaemia are the most common. They represent 56 and 59 per cent of all cancer cases in boys and girls, respectively. In males aged 15-49 years testicular cancer is most common, but prostate cancer is most common in middle aged and older men. Cancer in the central nervous system is the most common cancer type in young women 15-24 years old. In the age group 25-69 years breast cancer is most common, and among the oldest women (70+) colon cancer is more common than breast cancer.
This year’s statistics confirm a trend we have seen earlier: Survival continues to increase. At the end of 2009 nearly 200 000 Norwegians are alive after, at one point in time, having had at least one cancer diagnosis. This is an increase of over 60 000 persons since 1999.
One sees an improved survival in all the major cancers: breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer.
This increase is for a large part a result of increased attention regarding cancer from the patient and the health care system and also from screening in the population. In addition, it may be linked to increased quality of treatment.
Relative survival is the probability of a cancer patient’s survival if other causes of death are excluded. From the period 2000-2004 to 2005-2009 the relative survival increased from:
- 79 to 87 per cent for prostate cancer
- 85 to 88 per cent for breast cancer in women
- 13 to 15 per cent for lung cancer in women
- 9 to 12 per cent for lung cancer in men
- 63 to 66 per cent for rectum cancer in women
- 57 to 63 per cent for rectum cancer in men
- 57 to 62 per cent for colon cancer in women
- 54 to 60 per cent for colon cancer in men
The probability of developing cancer before the age of 75 is 35 per cent in men and 28 per cent in women.