System Epidemiology

The aim of our research is to increase the knowledge about the causes of cancer and other chronic diseases. We perceive our research fundamental to minimize the occurrence of these diseases in the future.

The main research focus of our research group is within two mutually complementary areas;

Population-based epidemiology (i), where the primary purpose is to obtain information about the relation between lifestyle and risk of cancer, also studying this relation with mortality in general, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes type 2. A cluster of projects study the relation between “Women and cancer”, in Norwegian “Kvinner og kreft”. Here we study lifestyle information by questionnaires including topics such as:

  • Diet and nutrition
  • The use of birth control pills and hormones
  • Smoking
  • Physical activity
  • Obesity
  • Sun bathing habits 
  • Social conditions

By collected blood samples, we analyze biomarkers such as vitamins and environmental pollutants. We mainly derive information about diseases and mortality from official registers, but in some cases also from the women participating in the study.

System epidemiology (ii), where we describe the development of cancer over time, using collected blood samples stored in our biobank. This is research on the body's mechanisms, where we seek to identify changes of gene expressions before the cancer is diagnosed, at the time of diagnosis and after. As complementary investigation, we collect tissue samples of breast cancer tumors and normal breast tissue from women voluntarily taking part in the study.