Section for Epidemiology and Prevention

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Since the early 1970s, occupational exposure has been linked to cancer risk, and within this section, this is a central field of research. Ongoing are projects focusing on cancer risk among employees in the offshore industry and among firefighters.

A rapidly growing field of research is how prescribed medical drugs influence cancer risk and prognosis, and we have several ongoing projects investigating such relationships. Moreover, we have projects aiming to identify, develop and validate biomarkers for early cancer detection that also provides new knowledge about cancer processes. Modifiable lifestyle factors impact the risk of several cancer forms and this is also a part of the research portfolio in this group, whereof smoking, ultraviolet (UV) radiation, physical activity, and obesity are key factors.

Per today, the Section for epidemiology and prevention includes 8 senior researchers and 11 postdoc and PhD-students. The members also contribute considerably in solving other institutional duties, as publishing the annual report Cancer in Norway, respond to inquiries from the media, clinicians, and the population as well as external activities as members of scientific boards, expert groups, and committees.


Jakobsen J, Veierød MB, Grimsrud TK, Fosså SD, Hammarström B, Kjærheim K. Early detection of prostate cancer in firefighters: a register-based study of prognostic factors and survival. Occup Environ Med. 2021 Sep 11:oemed-2021-107622. doi: 10.1136/oemed-2021-107622. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34510005. 

Togawa K, Leon ME, Lebailly P, Beane Freeman LE, Nordby KC, Baldi I, MacFarlane E, Shin A, Park S, Greenlee RT, Sigsgaard T, Basinas I, Hofmann JN, Kjaerheim K, Douwes J, Denholm R, Ferro G, Sim MR, Kromhout H, Schüz J. Cancer incidence in agricultural workers: Findings from an international consortium of agricultural cohort studies (AGRICOH). Environ Int. 2021 Dec;157:106825. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2021.106825. Epub 2021 Aug 27. PMID: 34461377; PMCID: PMC8484858.

Hektoen HH, Gislefoss RE, Stenehjem JS, Langseth H, Axcrona K, Mondul AM, Robsahm TE, Andreassen BK. Prediagnostic Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D and Mortality Among Bladder Cancer Patients in the Janus Serum Bank Cohort. Clin Epidemiol. 2021 Sep 14;13:801-811. doi: 10.2147/CLEP.S319620. PMID: 34548821; PMCID: PMC8449552. 

Storås AH, Fosså SD, Ursin G, Andreassen BK. Survival trends for patients with primary metastatic prostate cancer before and after the introduction of new antitumor drugs. Prostate Cancer Prostatic Dis. 2021 Sep 7. doi: 10.1038/s41391-021-00445-x. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34493838.

Støer NC, Bouche G, Pantziarka P, Sloan EK, Andreassen BK, Botteri E. Use of non-cancer drugs and survival among patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma: a nationwide registry-based study in Norway. Acta Oncol. 2021 Sep;60(9):1146-1153. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2021.1953136. Epub 2021 Aug 2. PMID: 34338111. 

Botteri E, Berstad P, Sandin S, Weiderpass E. Lifestyle changes and risk of cancer: experience from the Swedish women's lifestyle and health cohort study. Acta Oncol. 2021 Jul;60(7):827-834. doi: 10.1080/0284186X.2021.1919756. Epub 2021 May 14. PMID: 33988490. 

Stenehjem JS, Babigumira R, Hosgood HD, Veierød MB, Samuelsen SO, Bråtveit M, Kirkeleit J, Rothman N, Lan Q, Silverman DT, Friesen MC, Robsahm TE, Kjærheim K, Andreassen BK, Shala NK, Liu FC, Strand LÅ, Grimsrud TK. Cohort Profile: Norwegian Offshore Petroleum Workers (NOPW) Cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2021 May 17;50(2):398-399. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyaa107. PMID: 32879941; PMCID: PMC8128454. 

Stenehjem JS, Støer NC, Ghiasvand R, Grimsrud TK, Babigumira R, Rees JR, Nilsen LT, Johnsen B, Thorsby PM, Veierød MB, Robsahm TE. Prediagnostic serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and melanoma risk. Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 18;10(1):20129. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-77155-2. PMID: 33208828; PMCID: PMC7676247. 

Berge LAM, Andreassen BK, Stenehjem JS, Larsen IK, Furu K, Juzeniene A, Roscher I, Heir T, Green A, Veierød MB, Robsahm TE. Cardiovascular, antidepressant and immunosuppressive drug use in relation to risk of cutaneous melanoma: a protocol for a prospective case-control study. BMJ Open. 2019 Feb 20;9(2):e025246. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-025246. PMID: 30787091; PMCID: PMC6398655.

Robsahm TE, Helsing P, Svendsen HL, Veierød MB. Clinical Suspicion Sensitivity of Nodular and Superficial Spreading Melanoma. Acta Derm Venereol. 2021; 101(4):adv00427. doi: 10.2340/00015555-3782.PMID: 33686445

Robsahm TE, Heir T, Sandvik L, Prestgaard E, Tretli S, Erikssen JE, Falk RS. Changes in midlife fitness, body mass index, and smoking influence cancer incidence and mortality: A prospective cohort study in men. Cancer Med. 2019 Aug;8(10):4875-4882. doi: 10.1002/cam4.2383. Epub 2019 Jul 4. PMID: 31270954; PMCID: PMC6712445.