The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study (NOWAC)

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For Participants

Firstly, we would like to acknowledge the participants of NOWAC for contributing to the collection of highly valuable data from questionnaires and blood samples.

Our goal is to use their data in the best possible manner to obtain new and important knowledge in the field of women's health. 

Please explore the links below to learn more about how participant data has been used. 

Data privacy
Ongoing projects
Information letters and questionnaires

For Researchers

Project leaders affiliated with institutions with research competance can apply for access to research data from NOWAC. The main supervisor acts as the project leader for PhD and Master students.

All projects that apply for data and/or biological material from NOWAC must have their own REK approval.

Projects applying for research data from NOWAC must provide the basis for processing according to the European Union's personal data protection regulation (GDPR) and the Personal Information Act. Further, the research responsible institution must assess the need to complete a data protection impact assessment (DPIA). All projects that are rooted at UiT The Arctic University of Norway and process personal information must be reported to Sikt in accordance with UiT's guidelines. 

Applications and their associated attachments must be submitted to

Data access
NOWAC Executive Team
Information letters and questionnaires
Fee for access to research data


The Norwegian Women and Cancer Study (NOWAC) is a population-based health study with the main aim of investigating  factors that influence the development and survival of cancer. The overarching goal of NOWAC is to contribute new scientific knowledge to improve the prevention of cancer development and premature death, nationally and globally.

Specifically, NOWAC is a prospective cohort study that mainly uses information from questionnaires. Data collection began in 1991 and the latest data collection was obtained in 2017. NOWAC has data from nearly 172 000 women, where 50 000 women have also given blood samples. Some tissue samples were also obtained from some women, including normal breast tissue and breast cancer tumour tissue. 

Women invited to participate in NOWAC were randomly selected from Norway's national population register and were between the ages of 30 and 70 years at the time of responding to their first questionnaire. Importantly, NOWAC is linked to the Cancer Registry of Norway and the Norwegian Cause of Death Register, where updates are performed each year.  


NOWAC has been an important source of data for many scientific publications. Several publications have used data solely from NOWAC, while other have used NOWAC data in combination with other sources. A subset of NOWAC is included in the European Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC). EPIC is a large prospective cohort study with participants recruited across 10 European coutries. The Norwegian branch of EPIC is supplied by NOWAC.

Please be advised that some publications are behind a paywall.

Publications will be updated on an ongoing basis. 

NOWAC publications
EPIC publications


Do you have any questions about NOWAC?

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