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Swedish Cancer Registry Profile Page
Swedish Cancer Registry

Contact Info

Department of statistics and evaluation, Unit of statistics
National Board of Health and Welfare
Rålambsvägen 3
106 30
Dr. Jesper Brohede


Registration area

The Swedish Cancer Registry covers all of Sweden, which has an area of 450 000 km2 and had a population of 9.4 million in 2010. The population is unevenly distributed across the country, with most residents living in the south. About 85% of residents live in localities (defined as having more than 200 residents) and 40% live in towns or cities with more than 50 000 residents. The country is secular, although 70% of residents are members of the Church of Sweden.

Cancer care facilities

There are 29 500 physicians in Sweden (313 per 100 000 residents). Cancer care is incorporated into the general health care system. There are six regional cancer centres that coordinate cancer care and regional cancer registries.

Registry structure and methods

The registry was established in 1958 and is run by the Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare. The regional cancer registries are responsible for registering new cases and performing the major checks and correction work. The registration of newly detected tumours is based on mandatory reporting by all physicians in public and private facilities. Hospital and forensic pathologists make independent mandatory reports on every cancer diagnosis made from surgical biopsies, cytological specimens, and autopsies. The cancer registry data are supplemented with information on cause and date of death through linkage with the Swedish Cause of Death Register. The Swedish Cancer Registry does not register cases based on death certificates only.

Interpreting the results

The completeness of the registry is estimated to be 96%. There are two national screening programmes: one for breast cancer and one for cervical cancer. Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is not part of an organized programme, but it has been very common since the mid-1990s. There is a screening trial under way for colorectal cancer in the Stockholm-Gotland region.

Use of the data

The registry’s statistical database and annual incidence reports are available from Registry data are also used for quality assurance of public health services (such as programmes to improve cancer prevention and survival) and for clinical and epidemiological research.


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