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Rethinking cancer survivorship: Exploring the foundations of research on how humans experience and voice cancer (CANCUL)

The overall ambition of the project is to develop novel knowledge on the human and social aspects of cancer and cancer survivorship.

Group photo CANCUL project

About the project

As the treatment for some types of cancer gradually succeed in saving people’s lives, the number of people identifying themselves as cancer survivors is rapidly growing. Given how remarkably visible cancer experiences have lately become one might expect the variety of mediated cancer experiences to be extensive. However, taking a broad look at the dominating cultural discourses on cancer in contemporary Norway that are enabled and reproduced by powerful institutions, such as the media and medical literature, it becomes clear that this is not the case. In fact stories and discourses on cancer in Norway seem to be performed, entrusted or narrated through traditional public channels by ethnic Norwegians in powerful positions as well as overlapping distinctly with travelling conceptions of what cancer experiences more fundamentally are. There seems to be an under-representation of the biographical disruption, the anxiety, the fatigue, in total, the presumably chaotic and chronic sides of cancer that also come with the disease but which, by far, seems to be socially unacceptable. Consequently, we believe there is a silent side of contemporary Norwegian cancer culture beyond what is currently most represented, and that this shroud of silence needs to be lifted.

Taking this significant feature of the Norwegian society as a central point of departure, the main objective of this project is to develop pioneering knowledge on how Norwegians experience and voice cancer, and how this, in turn, must be taken into the medical clinic when developing efficient and ethically acceptable ways of meeting and treating individual cancer patients.

We use various methods such as literature review, in-depth interviews, text-analyses and intervention designing.

The questions raised in this project is addressed by a consortium of professionals, including national and international researchers and collaborating partners who take a strong interest in inquiring them in an interdisciplinary and highly inventive way.


The overall ambition of the project is to develop novel knowledge on the human and social aspects of cancer and cancer survivorship.


  • The Research Council of Norway/Norges Forskningsråd
  • University of Oslo


  • Oslo University Hospital
  • University of Tromsø/The Artic University of Norway
  • Tromsø University Hospital
  • VIDVID Specialized University/VID Vitenskapelige høgskole
  • Kreftforeningen
  • Vardesenteret
  • Sheffield University
  • University of Calgary

Start - finish



Published Mar. 25, 2015 3:48 PM - Last modified Mar. 17, 2020 3:57 PM