The Nordic Cancer Union was founded in 1949. It is a collaborative body consisiting of representatives from the Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Faroese cancer societies.

The Nordic Cancer Union was established to enhance cooperation between the cancer societies in the Nordic countries. The strategies and priorities for NCU are stipulated for three year periods by the NCU Board. They follow the rolling three-year presidencies hold by each cancer society in time.

The general rules of the NCU stipulate that the NCU is directed by a board comprising representatives of each of the member organizations. One representative from each country should be at a CEO/secretary general level. The Board is responsible for informing the chairman of the member organizations of meetings when their presence is needed.

The NCU Board meets three or four times annually. The meetings are a forum to enable and facilitate information exchange about diverse activites at national levels. They also serve to decide on grants to be awarded by the NCU, both for scientific research and for strategic projects.

The chairmanship of the NCU Board and secretariat rotates and is held alternatively for three years at a time by the member organizations. The secretariat is responsible for general administration and coordination of the member activities.

The NCU grants one million euro each year to scientific cancer research and to strategic projects.