Cancer of Norway - how many cases can be prevented?

Every year, more than 13,000 cancer cases in Norway can be prevented. This is shown in calculations in this report that the Cancer Registry of Norway has prepared on commission from the Norwegian Cancer Society.
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The Cancer Registry of Norway has estimated how many cases of different types of cancer each year in Norway can be attributed to selected risk factors in order to highlight the potential for cancer prevention in lifestyle changes and prevention at the population level.

Preventable cancer cases are particularly distributed among the major forms of cancer, such as lung cancer, colorectal cancer, skin cancer and breast cancer.

Smoking remains the most cancer-causing risk factor, with more than 5,000 new cases annually.


Other major risk factors are UV exposure, diet, overweight/obesity and alcohol.

Download the report here (Norwegian only)

The risk factors examined in the report are smoking, alcohol, sunburn and tanning beds, and the researchers have also taken into account the importance of a healthy and varied diet, a physically active every day, normal body weight, and following national vaccination programmes.

The choice of risk factors is based on a documented strong or probable association with the risk of one or more types of cancer with a high prevalence, and that these factors are widespread in Norway.

The calculations are based on a theoretical scenario – the complete elimination of the risk factors. This nevertheless provides insight into the proportion of cancer cases that can be avoided by lifestyle changes and prevention of infection with Human Papillomavirus (HPV).

The figure shows the annual number of cancer cases caused by the selected risk factors among men and women aged 20-85 years in Norway.