Week 58: The Norwegian Cancer Society's bias against lung cancer

Written by Lars Haakon Soraas

Week 58 in the war on lung cancer has passed. Here are the highlights:

  • Dyanne was in Frankfurt this week to get another injection of the vaccine and nivolumab.
  • In Frankfurt, they measured again the lymph node just above her right collar bone with ultrasound. This was 1.1 cm on each of the last two measurements (2 and 4 weeks ago). This week it was 1.0 cm. Although one probably should be careful to interpret such a small change, we are happy it at least does not seem to grow.
  • Dyanne has been a bit tired and had a cough this week. We suspect the cough is “just” a normal cough from a cold or the like.

In other news: I have been in contact with Kreftforeningen (The Norwegian Cancer Society) and gotten them to send me information on how much financial support they give to the various sub-societies for each cancer type, i.e. how much they give to The Norwegian Breast Cancer Society, The Norwegian Lung Cancer Society, and so on. The results are deeply disturbing and depressing. Despite representing the cancer type that kills, by far, the most people, The Lung Cancer Society is the society getting the second least funding of all the 14 societies.

The chart below shows the numbers for each of the societies in 2016. The Breast Cancer Society gets, by far, the most. Then The Colon Cancer Society and The Prostate Cancer Society. The only society getting less than lung cancer is the melanoma society. Per death each cancer type causes, The Breast Cancer gets 20 times more funding than The Lung Cancer Society.


The reason for this distribution is that the funding is based on the number of members. The Breast Cancer Society has many members (around 15 000). An important reason for this, in addition to a lot of very good awareness work done by thousands of women, is the fact that the survival rate for breast cancer, thankfully, is very high (5-year survival of around 90%). The Lung Cancer Society has very few members (around 500), an important reason for this is that lung cancer patients have a very bad habit of dying (5-year survival of around 15%). The distribution scheme used by Kreftforeningen hence favours cancers with low mortality rates.

I have been told by the assistant general secretary of Kreftforeningen that they will look into the way the distributions are made. I hope they will. If you think they ought to do this, please contact them and make your voice heard (their email address is ).



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