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The Cancer Society of Finland plays an active role in social advocacy. Such advocacy work is one way to realise the CSF’s vision of “A good quality of life for everyone, free from cancer and regardless of cancer”. Advocacy work is aimed at decision-makers and officials as well as within the health care system and various cooperation frameworks.

The CSF wants to ensure that there is a high quality of cancer care and patient support equally throughout Finland. The organisation seeks to influence social structures so that as many types of cancer as possible can be prevented and people are easily able to make sensible decisions regarding their own health. Social advocacy is also done by boosting cancer research and increasing the knowledge base of decision-making. Based on the Finnish Cancer Registry’s expertise, decision-makers are lobbied to develop Finnish cancer screening programmes.

The CSF presents suggestions to health care decision-makers and health care providers for improving the entire patient care pathway: cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, patient and loved one support, rehabilitation support, follow-up, palliative care, and hospice care.

The CSF actively carries out electoral advocacy work in the run-up to national elections. The CSF’s goals regarding the government programme can be found here (in Finnish). The CSF also promotes its goals through regular contacts with those drafting and taking policy decisions, as well as by being involved in social debate. The CSF issues statements on matters under preparation and is involved in ministry working groups. In 2020, the CSF is represented in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Heath’s screening steering group, the steering group for biobank legislation, and in the working group to examine regulatory needs concerning good end-of-life care and patients’ right to self-determination as well as terminal care and euthanasia.

The National Cancer Centre (FINCAN) is an important partner and focal point for the CSF in its advocacy work within the health care system. The CSF has compiled development suggestions and recommendations targeted at healthcare professionals and decision-makers into the Patient’s Path package ( in Finnish).

The CSF also carries out advocacy work internationally, including in the EU. This is described in more detail in the section on international activities.


Cooperative structures are an important means of social advocacy. The CSF works in particular with other NGOs to promote common goals. The CSF is involved in the following cooperation networks, among others:

1. Finnish Non-communicable Diseases Network (NCD)

The purpose of the network (link in Finnish) is to prevent prevalent chronic diseases and reduce the harm they cause. The network comprises seven public health organisations and the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim. The network is part of the international NCD Alliance.

2. One Life health project

The One Life health project (link in Finnish) is a joint initiative of seven public health organisations, and in which the Finnish Medical Society Duodecim is present as an expert body. The goal of One Life is to increase people’s health and well being and to influence decision-making both to prevent disease and to improve the situation of patients with prevalent chronic diseases.

3. Network for Preventive Substance Abuse Work

The Network for Preventive Substance Abuse Work is a cooperative platform for about 50 organisations that aims to promote public health by reducing the harm caused by substance abuse and gambling.

4. Tobacco-free Finland network

The aim of the network is to reduce the use of tobacco products and ensure the availability of support for quitting tobacco use as a part of health care services. The network includes about 25 organisations and healthcare actors.