Advocacy

The Cancer Society of Finland exerts an active societal influence in Finland and internationally. The goal of advocacy work is to prevent cancer and ensure top quality and equal treatment and rehabilitative support for people with cancer nationwide. We want to make certain that people with cancer are able to live the best possible lives regardless of illness.

The Cancer Society collaborates both with decision-makers and authorities and with other organisations. Our specialist task includes producing precise and reliable information for decision-makers, health care professionals, and the public. We are actively involved in disseminating research data.

1. Influencing policy decisions

The Cancer Society seeks to promote its goals by contacting those drafting and taking policy decisions and by participating in public debate. We carry out active advocacy work at election time. Our goals concerning parliamentary and provincial elections  were approved in May 2018 and cover the following themes:

A good life without cancer

  1. Putting health and wellbeing at the centre of decision-making
  2. Support for healthy lifestyles
  3. Strengthening the operational scope of the Cancer Society

A good life despite cancer

  1. Equality of access to treatment and when being receiving treatment
  2. Ensure quality treatment and patient involvement
  3. Versatile support for cancer patients and their loved ones
  4. Cancer and working life
  5. Research and development for the best quality cancer treatment

The Cancer Society participates in the preparation of health policy issues via, among other things, ministerial working groups and by providing opinions in drafting bills. We provide expertise as an aid to decision-making.

The Cancer Society is represented in the steering group on the activities of the Comprehensive Cancer Centre Finland, and the steering group on bio bank legislation.

a.  National Comprehensive Cancer Centre Finland

The Cancer Society is involved in preparations for the national comprehensive cancer centre Finland (FINCAN), and was an active advocate in the decision to establish it. Our aim is to ensure quality cancer treatment, achieving uniform treatment paths and practices, follow-up care guidance and cancer treatment, and effective rehabilitation support for everyone who needs it throughout the country. FINCAN can contribute to these goals.

b. National cancer plan

The goal of the Cancer Society of Finland is for the drawing up of a national cancer plan. The plan would guide and develop cancer treatment, ensure uniform treatment paths and treatment practices and determine cancer prevention.

The Cancer society was proactively and energetically involved in preparatory work when a Ministry of Social Affairs and Health working group published the report the Development of cancer treatment in 2010–2020. ( and the National Institute for Health and Welfare expert group released the supplementary report in 2014 Development of cancer prevention, early detection and rehabilitative support 2014–2025. These documents are not, however, binding plans.

c. Health promotion

We try to improve people’s health and wellbeing and prevent cancer by influencing decision-making, implementation, and oversight. We raise matters for discussion in society, issue reports, produce new information and provide our expertise to support decisions on such issues as alcohol and tobacco policy.

2. Cooperation

The Cancer Society promotes its goals in collaboration with a range of other actors. We cooperate widely to advance people’s health and welfare.

a. Non-Communicable Disease network

The Cancer Society is involved in the network on non-communicable diseases together with six other public health organisations and the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim. The aim of the network is to prevent chronic disease and reduce the harm they cause. The network is part of the NCD Alliance.

b. One life

The Cancer Society takes part in the One Life initiative together with six other organisations. The aim is to increase health and wellbeing equally throughout life

c.  Substance prevention work network

The Cancer Society is part of the Substance Prevention Work Network, along with 44 other groups and organisations. The network tries to promote public health by reducing and preventing the harm caused by substance use and gambling.

d. Tobacco-free Finland

The Cancer Society is a member of the Tobacco-free Finland network ( together with 18 other groups and organisations. The network’s aims include cutting the use of tobacco products and ensuring that quitting aids are available as part of health services.

e.  Applied exercise SoveLi association

The Cancer Society is a member of SoveLi, which aims to improve the possibilities for people who are chronically ill or with disabilities to exercise so as to improve their health and wellbeing, use applied exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle.

3. International activity

Cancer work is international, and such activity focuses on research and cooperation between various organisations. The Cancer Society carries out extensive international cooperation with a variety of organisations, research bodies and authorities.

a. Nordic Cancer Union

The Cancer Society is a member of the Nordic Cancer Union, the collaborative body for Nordic cancer organisations, which supports inter-Nordic cancer research and carries out joint anti-cancer projects.

b. Association of European Cancer Leagues

The Cancer Society is a member of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL). ECL promotes cancer prevention by making known the European Code Against Cancer and by sharing best practices on patient counselling, support, and rehabilitation. The ECL runs a project called Access to Medicines, which aims to ensure the necessary medicines for all cancer patients.

c. Union for International Cancer Control

The Cancer Society is a member of the Union for International Cancer Control (www.uicc.org) and particularly supports strengthening the efforts of developing countries to combat cancer.

d. Joint Action and other EU programmes

The Cancer Society is currently involved in two EU joint action programmes, the Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer iPAAC and the Joint Action on Rare Cancers, JARC, as well as in the research project Towards Improved Screening for Breast, Cervical and Colorectal Cancer in all of Europe, EU-TOPIA.

e. Other organisations and networks

The Cancer Society is involved in a range of other international activities in collaboration with various organisations or networks. We are a member of the Framework Convention, which supports the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and of the International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG) (), which develops high quality cancer counselling services. In addition, the Finnish Cancer Registry carries out extensive international joint work.