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Age-specific incidence of invasive breast cancer in Norway in the period 1971-2001. The annual increase in the period 1971-1995 was about 0.6%. In 1996 a mammography screening programme was started in four major counties (Akershus, Oslo, Rogaland and Hordaland the AORH-counties) where about 40% of the population lives. First screening round was in 1996-7; the second screening round in 1998-9 and the third screening round was in 2000-1. Compared to the period 1991-5 the breast cancer incidence in the age group 50-69 years was 80% higher during the first (prevalence-) screening. Compared to the period 1991-5 the breast cancer incidence in the age group 50-69 years in the second and third screening round was increased by 54% and 52% respectively. Note that screening started several years later in the non-AORH-counties.

The increase in breast cancer incidence only occurred for stage I disease. No decline in the incidence of stage II-IV has been observed in the Norwegian (or any other) screening programme.