In 1948, the WHO proposed that five countries, Norway among them, should study the incidence of cancer. Three years later the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Social Affairs issued instructions for the reporting of all cases of cancer to the new Cancer Registry of Norway. Its first director was Dr. Einar Pedersen, who was succeeded by Dr. FrÃ¸ydis Langmark in 1983. Between 1957-61 and 1992-96, the number of cancer cases increased from 41,648 to 99,601. Most types of cancer were up; stomach cancer was an exception to this trend. The increase was highest for malignant melanoma and lung cancer, for both types higher among women than among men. There are considerable variations in cancer incidence between Norwegian counties, between the municipalities within the counties, and between urban and rural communities.