Facts about cancer, and updated figures on cancer in Norway


Cancer is a collective name of about 200 different types of cancer, all species behaves differently. Common for cancer diseases is that they start with uncontrolled cell division.


Cancer Diseases

Cancer diseases have many similarities, but there is also much that separates them from each other. This means that the course of the disease for those who get cancer, varies greatly depending on the type of cancer in question. The prognosis also varies from person to person with the same cancer type.


Cancer Cell

The body's organs are made ​​up of different types of cells, which have different properties depending on what function they have. It constantly produces new cells to replace those damaged or die. New cells are the cells in that doubles its genetic material, DNA, and divide in half.


In cancer, it has malfunctioned, so that cells divide uncontrollably and do not perform the tasks the healthy cells would have done. As cancer cells continue to divide, there is an accumulation of cancer cells in the body where the uncontrolled growth started. Thus, form a tumor.


The Spread

A tumor can spread if the cell detaches itself and charged with lymph or blood vessels to other parts of the body. The tumor can also penetrate into the tissue that is not its own. In this way cancer cells can gain a foothold in the healthy tissue and create new tumors. These tumors are called metastases.


This means that if breast cancer has spread to the lung, this tumor made ​​of breast cancer cells (not lung cells). In this case, the disease in the lung is breast cancer with spread to the lung (not lung cancer). In a microscope, the cells in the lung look like the cells of the parent tumor in the breast.


Bodies like skeleton, liver, lungs, brain and lymph nodes are common measures of spread Different types of cancer tend to spread to specific organs.


Causes or increased risk

There is still uncertainty as to the causal factors for most cancers. Instead of the word cause, we talk often about what can increase the risk. Research has shown that environmental, heritage and lifestyle are some factors that may increase the risk of certain cancers. Approximately every third case of cancer is believed due to lifestyle, especially tobacco use and diet habits.


Cancer in Norway



- In 2009, 27,520 people got cancer, 14,792 men and 12,728 women.
- Prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men - with 4299 new cases in 2009.
- Breast cancer is the cancer that affects most women - with 2745 new cases in 2009.

- Cancer affects all ages, but especially the elderly. Most Norwegians who get cancer are older than 50 years - this group represents 90 percent of the male and 85 percent of the female patients. Over half the cases occur after age 70.


The interpretation of cancer figures, one should look at cancer trends over several years.
From the previous five-year period (2000-04) to the last period (2005-09), the incidence increased by 7 percent for men and 3 percent for women.

For men, we see the biggest increase in the incidence of prostate cancer (23 percent) and melanoma (15 percent). On the positive side shows the rates of colorectal cancer and lung cancer a slight decrease of respectively 5 and 4 per cent. The rates of colon cancer and bladder cancer have leveled off, and they are only slightly changed in the period 2005-09 compared with 2000-04.

For women, we see the highest increase in the incidence of lung cancer (13 percent) and melanoma (9 percent).


- 199 170 people have or have had a cancer diagnosis.

- 65.9 percent of men and 68.2 percent of women with cancer are alive five years after they received their cancer diagnosis. There are wide variations in mortality between the different types of cancer.


Source: www.kreftregisteret.no