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Cancer epidemiology

Globally, over 19 million incident cancers are diagnosed and almost 10 million people die from cancer each year. Cancer incidence has increased over the past number of decades. This increase is estimated to continue and predicted to reach approximately 26 million incident cancers and 17 million cancer deaths worldwide by 2030. The projected increase in cancer incidence is driven by population aging. Cancer epidemiology is the study of distribution and determinants of cancer incidence and prognosis.

Cancer research at Department of Clinical Epidemiology focuses on the risk and prognosis of cancer. We investigate complications of cancer in relation to medical and surgical treatment among cancer patients. Of special interest are cancers of the breast, the digestive organs, and the urinary tract.

Breast cancer is the most common malignancy and leading cause of cancer mortality in women worldwide. Each year, about 5,000 women in Denmark are diagnosed with incident breast cancer.  Improvements in diagnosis and treatment have contributed to an increasing prevalence of breast cancer survivors. We investigate the effect of prescription drugs (e.g., polypharmacy), comorbid diseases (e.g., diabetes, obesity, and metabolic syndrome), and genetic and molecular factors (e.g., genetic polymorphisms and biomarkers) on the risk and prognosis of breast cancer. We research factors that influence complications of treatment, adherence to treatment, and the incidence of late effects in breast cancer survivors, including disease recurrence and non-cancer diseases. We assemble biobanks of tumor tissue and use these to investigate molecular and genetic biomarkers that can impact breast cancer prognosis and response to treatment.

Within the field of gastrointestinal cancer, we study risk and prognosis among cancer patients in relation to venous thromboembolism, other complications, and co/multi-morbidity (please see the section on Gastroenterology).

Our research in urinary tract cancer focuses on the impact of comorbidity and other patient characteristic on prognosis (please see the Urologic diseases page).

Selected DCE publications