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Cancer incidence (Indicator 2)


The indicator describes the following: cancer incidence, by type of cancer, per 100 000 person years.

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This indicator is part of Target (1): 25 per cent reduction in overall mortality from cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease.


Figures 1a and b demonstrate the incidence of new cancer cases since we started to systematically record all new cases of cancer in 1953.

  • Most types of cancer are on the rise.
  • From the beginning of the 50s until today, the biggest increases have been in lung cancer, skin cancer and melanoma, Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, cancer of the central nervous system, colorectal cancer, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
  • Stomach cancer is one of the few types of cancer that has seen a clear and dramatic decline.
cancer men NCD.jpg

Figure 1a: New cancer cases per 100 000 person years for selected types of cancer in men in Norway, 1956–2015. Source: Norwegian Cancer Registry.

cancer women NCD.jpg

Figure 1b: New cancer cases per 100 000 person years for selected types of cancer in women in Norway, 1956–2015. Source: Norwegian Cancer Registry.


Table accompanying the figures 

Cancer incidence_Tab1 NCD.pdf

Table 1 is published in pdf format and shows new cancer cases per 100,000 person years for selected types of cancer in men and women in Norway, 1956–2015. Source: Norwegian Cancer Registry. 

Data source: Norwegian Cancer Registry

The data source for this indicator is the Norwegian Cancer Registry. A description and definitions follow below.


The Norwegian Cancer Registry has information on new cancer cases in the population based on the results of tissue sample analyses and information from doctors examining, treating and following up cancer patients. Furthermore, the Norwegian Cancer Registry obtains all C and D codes from the Norwegian Patient Registry and can thus search for missing clinical information for patients who are not registered; the Norwegian Cancer Registry is considered to be almost 100 per cent complete. The Norwegian Cancer Registry publishes its “Cancer in Norway” report every year, which includes complete incidence data on the different types of cancer. In addition, there is NORDCAN, a database of cancer statistics for the Nordic countries, and the global cancer statistics of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Global Cancer Observatory.

Effect measure

Cancer incidence per 100 000 person years; Norway’s population in 2014 (average age distribution during the course of 2014) is used as a weighting for age standardisation. The period of measurement is 1956-2015, both genders and all age groups are included. 

In age standardisation, the number of new cancer cases per 100 000 person years is adjusted (weighted) in relation to a standard population, and expresses the number of new cancer cases such as it would have been if the age composition had been the same as the standard population during all periods. Standardisation is used to enable comparison of rates across populations and time. 

The types of cancer are stated in accordance with the ICD10 diagnosis codes and include the following selected cancer types:

C00–96                    All sites*. Basal cell carcinoma is not included.

C16                          Stomach

C18                          Colon

C19–20                    Rectum, rectosigmoid

C33–34                    Lung, trachea

C43                          Melanoma of the skin (moles on the skin)

C44                          Skin, non-melanoma

C50                          Breast

C53                          Cervix uteri

C54                          Corpus uteri

C56, C57.0–4          Ovary etc.** 

C61                          Prostate

C62                          Testis

C65–68                    Urinary tract*** 

C70–72                    Central nervous system, including benign tumours**** 

C82–86, C96           Non-Hodgkin lymphoma

C91–95                    Leukaemia (including D45–47)  

* Including the following D-codes: D32–D33, D35.2–D35.4, D42–D43, D44.3–D44.5, D45–D47

** Including ligamentum latum uteri, ligamentum rotundum uteri, parametrium, adnexa uteri

*** Including non-invasive papillary tumours, dysplasia and carcinoma in situ

**** Including benign tumours with the codes D32–33, D35.2–35.4, D42–43 and D44.3–44.5

National adaptation to global indicators

WHO’s definition of the indicator

Indicator 2. Cancer incidence, by type of cancer, per 100 000 population. 

National adaptation

The Norwegian Cancer Registry reports national data to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), WHO.  WHO uses the WHO Standard Population when presenting the figures. Due to different data processing methods, there may be some divergence between the data presented above and the data presented by WHO.

Authors and contacts

Text compiled by the Incidence Registry at the Norwegian Cancer Registry and the Department of Non-communicable Diseases at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.