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Cancer Registry of Norway Profile Page
Cancer Registry of Norway

Contact Info

Institute of population-based cancer research
P.O. box 5313
Dr. Giske Ursin


Registration area

The Cancer Registry of Norway (CRN) covers the entire population of Norway, which has a total area of 324 000 km2. As of 1 January 2011, the total population was 4.9 million. Most residents are ethnic Norwegian, 0.5% are Sami, and 11.6% are foreign-born.

Cancer care facilities

There are four regional health authorities in Norway. Surgical cancer treatment is available at general hospitals and oncology centres, and radiotherapy is provided by 10 separate hospital departments. In 2010, there were approximately 3.3 hospital beds and 4.3 physicians per 1000 residents. Treatment costs are covered by the national health system.

Registry structure and methods

All hospitals, laboratories, and general practitioners in Norway are required to report new cases of cancer. The Ministry of Health and Care Services is financially responsible for the CRN. The registry has about 130 employees organized in four departments and three screening units. The staff consists of physicians, researchers, statisticians, research assistants, information staff members, information and communication technology staff members, and administrative personnel. The registry receives about 120 000 notifications per year (an average of 3.2 notifications per case), which are coded and manually registered by the CRN staff. In recent years, additional information about all patients treated for cancer has been received from the Norwegian Patient Register. These data are a key source for identifying otherwise unreported cases. The estimated completeness of all cases combined is 98.8%, and about 90% of the cases are histologically verified (Larsen et al., 2009).

Interpreting the results

Breast cancer screening has been offered to Norwegian women since 1995, and cervical cancer screening since 1990. The continuing increase in prostate cancer incidence since 1990 is largely due to the increasing frequency of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing.

Use of the data

Updated cancer incidence, mortality, survival, and prevalence data are published annually in the report Cancer in Norway. The CRN also receives about 300 requests for cancer data per year for inclusion in research projects. The registry provides up-to-date data to the relevant authorities for use in cancer prevention, cancer care planning, and evaluation of health services.


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