Norwegian cancer patients in world rankings for survival


Norway claims to be one of the world’s best countries in terms of patients’ survival of a variety of cancers, such as intestinal cancer and cervical cancer.


This was shown in a survey published this week in the medical journal, The Lancet, wrote the Cancer Registry.

Survival has been consistently high in Norway for the past 15 years. Other countries that rank highly on the statistical register are Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand,Canada and the United States.

For rectal cancer, ovarian cancer, and cervical cancer, Norway is at the forefront for survival.

Improvement potential

A happy development, said the Cancer Registry, which nevertheless pointed out that there are areas to address.

‘This does not mean that we can lean back and not take action to further improve our survival rates. There are still more cancers in which Norway also has an improvement potential,’ said Bjørn Møller, head of the registry.

In the specialist communities there are discussions about which goals should be used in international comparison charting. In particular, for cancer types where individual countries have introduced mass screening, the numbers can be difficult to interpret,
Møller pointed out.

Even for some of the deadly cancers, such as liver cancer, and lung cancer, an increase in survival has been observed, the study showed. 21% of women who were affected by lung cancer in this country survived 20 years ago. Today, the share is 22%.

‘We see that there is greater optimism in the academic communities around a number of cancers where there was little hope in the past,’said Møller.

Big variations

Other cancers have not had the same type of advancement. For example,pancreatic cancer is still very deadly, with five years of survival for only 9% in Norway.

‘The Cancer Society, the academic communities, and those of us at the Cancer Registry want to get more information about this cancer form, and we hope to establish a National Quality Register for Pancreatic Cancer,’ said Møller.

Generally, cancer survival has improved throughout the world over recent years, but there are still major differences between countries, not least for childhood cancers. Children with brain tumors survive in about 80% of cases in the Scandinavian countries. That is twice as high as in Mexico and Brazil, where the proportion is 40%.

The study presented in The Lancet analyzed individual patient data from 322 cancer records in 71 countries, and territories. It compared five years of relative survival rates in more than 37.5 million patients diagnosed with one of 18 common cancers.

World Cancer Day highlighted

Living with cancer is a central theme when World Cancer Day is marked on Sunday. The Cancer Association wishes to draw attention to the fact that patients who wish to live a long time also need to live well.

Today, over 260,000 Norwegians are cancer survivors. That is, they live with, or have recovered from, cancer, said the association.

Increasing cancer survival also requires more of society, the authorities, and hospitals. According to the Cancer Society, it is estimated that 40% more Norwegians will get cancer by 2030.


© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today