Research in cancer

  • from the first symptoms to diagnosis, treatment and follow-up

Each year, approximately 35,000 Danish residents are diagnosed with cancer. Although many are cured, cancer is still one of the most frequent causes of death in Denmark. The proportion of Danes surviving a cancer diagnosis is increasing due to better diagnostic methods and treatment and longer life expectancy.

In 2020, 360,000 Danes lived after being diagnosed with cancer. The number of cancer survivors is increasing by approx. 4-5  percent per year. It is important that the healthcare system is capable of delivering the right diagnosis quickly and that a focus is directed towards cancer follow-up and recurrence. 

Most cases of cancer are detected when symptoms are presented to the general practitioner (GP). The group conducts research in the diagnostic process from the first presented symptoms to diagnostic investigation and follow-up in general practice. The group also investigates the effect of fast-track cancer pathways and the detection of cancer recurrence in general practice.

The research focuses on the following key areas:

  • The role of general practice in cancer follow-up
  • The role of general practice in the diagnosis of recurrence
  • The population's knowledge of - and reactions to - symptoms of cancer
  • Management of cancer symptoms in general practice
  • Organisational structures in the healthcare sector that influence the diagnosis of cancer.

Medical and epidemiological studies constitute an important foundation for investigating these research topics, but the group also applies an interdisciplinary approach that combines different theoretical frameworks, scientific methods and academic disciplines.

The research group collaborates closely with several hospital-based oncology departments and with partners in organisational research, psychology, anthropology, sociology and health economics.

Selected publications

  • Diagnostic pathways for breast cancer in 10 International Cancer Benchmarking Partnership (ICBP) jurisdictions: an international comparative cohort study based on questionnaire and registry data. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2021-059669
  • Unplanned cancer presentation in patients with psychiatric disorders: A nationwide register-based cohort study in Denmark. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2022.102293
  • A nationwide register-study of healthcare utilisation in the year preceding a colorectal cancer recurrence diagnosis.

  • Diagnosing pancreatic cancer in general practice: a cross-sectional study on associations between suspicion of cancer, urgent referral and time to diagnosis.

  • Fear of cancer recurrence at 2.5 years after a cancer diagnosis: a cross-sectional study in Denmark.

  • Healthcare use in the year preceding a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: a register-based cohort study in Denmark.
  • Routes to cancer diagnosis for patients with pre-existing psychiatric disorders: a nationwide register-based cohort study .


  • Cancer and mental illness
  • Cancer among the elderly

  • Cancer recurrence

  • Fear of cancer recurrence

  • Haematologic cancers

  • Ovarian cancer

  • Recurrent gastric cancer