Most frequent cancers globally and in Norway

Globally, as pointed out in the World Cancer Report from 2014, cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality with approximately 14 million new cases and 8 million cancer related deaths in 2012, affecting populations in all countries and regions. Among men the three most common incident sites of cancer were lung, prostate and colorectum. Among women, the three most common incident sites of cancer were breast, colorectum and lung . In Norway, the rates for 2013, show that cancer in prostate, lung, colon and bladder were the most common cancers in men, whereas breast, lung and colon cancer and malignant melanoma were the most common cancers in women (2).

Smoking – Globally and in Norway

In spite of the overwhelming evidence of the detrimental effects of smoking on health (3), the number of smokers is increasing globally and the age of initiation of daily smoking among women seems to have become as young as in men (4-7).

Smoking Epidemic in Norway. During the last sixty years, the prevalence for daily smoking for men has been quite different from that of women. For men, the prevalence peaked at 65% during the late 1950s, it was 50% in 1975, and 33% in 1999. For women in Norway, the prevalence of daily smokers was 23% in 1954, the peak was at 37% in 1970, twenty years after the peak for men, and then stabilized at around 32% for the rest of the century (8). The decline among female smokers first started in the 21. Century (9). In 2013, the last year of our follow-up, the prevalence of daily smokers was around 15 per cent for both men and women in Norway (10).

The majority of the middle-aged Norwegian men and women are ever (either former or current) smokers and a large proportion of the never smokers have been exposed to passive smoking during child- and/or adulthood (7). As of 2019, 9 % of men and women are smoking daily (11).


Reference List
  1. Steward BW, Wild CP. International Agency for Research on Cancer Word cancer Report. Word cancer Report . 2014. Ref Type: Serial (Book,Monograph)
  2. Cancer Registry of Norway. Cancer in Norway 2013. Cancer incidence, mortality, survival and prevalence in Norway. Cancer Registry of Norway Oslo, Norway: 2015.
  3. World Health Organization. WHO global report on mortality attributable to tobacco. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2012.
  4. The tobacco atlas. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society; 2012.
  5. Giovino GA, Mirza SA, Samet JM, Gupta PC, Jarvis MJ, Bhala N, et al. Tobacco use in 3 billion individuals from 16 countries: an analysis of nationally representative cross-sectional household surveys. Lancet 2012 Aug 18;380(9842):668-79.
  6. International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans. Vol 100 E.: a review of human carcinogens: personal habits and indoor combustions. Lyon: International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2012.
  7. U.S.Department of Health and Human Services. 2014 Surgeon General's Report: The Health Consequences of Smoking—50 Years of Progress.  2014. Atlanta, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  8. Norges offentlige utredninger. Tobakksindustriens erstatningsansvar. [Tobacco industry liability]. Norway's public reports, editor. [16], 1-661. 2000. Oslo, Norway, Statens forvaltningstjeneste, Informasjonsforvaltning. NOU. Ref Type: Serial (Book,Monograph)
  9. Helleve A, Weisæth A, Lindbak R. Tall om tobakk 1973-2009 [Figures about tobacco 1973-2009]. Oslo, Norway: Norwegian Directory of Health; 2010.
  10. Statistikk Norway ang tobakk, dagligrøykere.  2013.