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Volunteers in the spotlight for CSF’s 80th anniversary


2016 sees the 80th anniversary of the Cancer Society of Finland. Throughout the year the CSF will highlight the importance of voluntary work in its activities. The CSF will also focus on promoting access to treatment and cancer testing.

The CSF’s provincial associations and national patient organisations have a large number of volunteers. Each year they devote hundreds of hours of their time working for the benefit of cancer patients. One of the aims of the 80th anniversary is for each provincial and patient organisation to nominate and award one voluntary worker from their area.

Investigating access to treatment

It is important for cancer patients to be able to access treatment as early as possible. The CSF has been taking part in a project funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health that will make it possible in future to monitor and compare treatment access times for cancers in Finland.

Access to treatment and how quickly it happens still appears to depend on how well off patients are and where they live. Because of this there is a need for more research data on the inequalities in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Such information is needed to be able to affect the right issues and strengthen the fairness of health care. We already know that there are regional and socio-economic disparities in the survival of cancer patients.

Supporting the needy from its inception

On 18 March 1936, eight Finnish physicians met in Helsinki’s House of the Estates to establish an association to “resist cancer”. This was the start of the CSF, which was officially registered as an association only later the same year, on 21 November.

From its inception, the CSF has supported needy cancer patients. The organisation began to develop treatment for cancer sufferers, build places of treatment and import from abroad the radium required for radiotherapy. The guiding principle was that everyone who needed treatment should be able to access treatment facilities and receive treatment regardless of their income.

Eight associations celebrate anniversaries

There are 12 provincial cancer associations and six national patient organisations that belong to the CSF. Seven of the provincial associations will also mark anniversaries in 2016. The cancer associations of Southwest Finland and Pirkanmaa will mark their 65th anniversaries. The former is located in Turku, the latter in Tampere. The cancer associations of Central Finland, Kymenlaakso, Ostrobotnia and North Karelia will each turn 60 years old.

The Åland Cancer Society will celebrate its 30th anniversary in October in Mariehamn. This will also celebrate the CSF’s Swedish language work, organised jointly with the Åland Cancer Society and the Cancer Society of Ostrobotnia.

Of the national patient organisations, the Association of Finnish Cancer Patients will mark its 45th anniversary in the autumn this year.

More on the history of the CSF

Further information


Secretary General Sakari Karjalainen, tel: 0400 818 910

Director, Communications and Foresight Satu Lipponen, tel: 050 563 4558

Communications Officer Mirja Karlsson, tel: 050 463 5260