Childhood cancer incidence and survival in the Faroe Islands: 1960 to 2019

Marnar Fríðheim Kristiansen, Elmar Ósá, Lisa Lyngsie Hjalgrim, Bjarni á Steig, Guðrið Andorsdóttir, Marin Strøm, Maria Skaalum Petersen

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review


Background and purpose: This study is the first report regarding childhood cancer in the Faroe Islands and describes the incidence and survival of childhood cancer over the last 60 years in the Faroe Islands.

Material and methods: We included all Faroese children registered with a cancer diagnosis up to the age of 19 years in the Faroese Cancer Registry from 1960 to 2019 and in the Danish Childhood Cancer Registry from 1985 to 2019 in this study. We report the number of incident cancers classified according to the 12 main diagnostic groups in the International Classification of Childhood Cancer, third edition (ICCC-3), but due to small numbers some groups have been combined in the results shown. We report age-standardized incidence rates (world standard population) (ASIR). We also show all-cause survival by incidence stratified by 20-year periods.

Results: There were 114 childhood cancers in the Faroe Islands from 1960 to 2019, corresponding to an ASIR of 13.0 per 100,000 person-years. The most common cancer groups in Faroese children were brain and spinal tumors, followed by leukemias and lymphomas. All-cause survival improved for children diagnosed over time, with a 5-year survival of 43.5% for those diagnosed from 1960 to 1979 and 85.6% for children diagnosed from 2000 to 2019.

Conclusion: Childhood cancer in the Faroes was slightly rarer than in most other high-income countries. Brain and spinal tumors were the most common cancer group in Faroese children. Survival for Faroese children with cancer has improved substantially in the study period.
Original languageEnglish
JournalActa oncologica (Stockholm, Sweden)
Issue number4-8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Feb 2024


  • Cancer
  • childhood cancer
  • Faroe Islands
  • incidence
  • survival
  • epidemiology


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