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Breast cancer

Breast cancer is by far the most common cancer in women.

The disease is characterized by a varied course, from rapidly growing tumors with early distant metastasis, to slow growing tumors which may stay in the breasts without metastasizing.

The majority of breast tumors are carcinomas. Sarcomatoid tumors are rare, but must be kept in mind as they are treated differently from other breast carcinomas.

Breast cancer rarely occurs in men. In Norway, less than 20 cases are diagnosed per year. The treatment is similar as for women.


Every 10th to 11th woman will develop breast cancer. In Norway in 2012, there were 2956 women who received this diagnosis. In comparison, the disease affected 1235 women in 1970. 28 men were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012.

Breast cancer involves first and foremost women over the age of 50. The average age at diagnosis is 59.

The risk increases with age.

Age-specific incidence of breast cancer, 2008–2012.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway


Incidence of breast cancer, 1953–2012.

Source: Cancer Registry of Norway

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