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In 2018, the Cancer Society of Finland worked actively with the Nordic Cancer Union, the Association of European Cancer Leagues, and the Union for International Cancer Control.

In 2018, the Cancer Society also played a role, either directly or indirectly, in international organisations linked to CSF activity.

ECL. CSF representatives took part in the annual conference of the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), held in Berlin in November. The secretary general of the CSF continues as ECL chair. The CSF participated in the activity of the ECL’s Patient Support Working Group, which addresses issues such as cancer patients’ return to work, volunteering, rehabilitation and problems with insurance. The CSF also joined the Access to Medicines Task Force.

IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) and the Finnish Cancer Registry conduct collaborative research especially in the study of cancer screening and the cancer burden of developing countries. The director of statistics at the Cancer Registry was one of Finland’s representatives at the May IARC Governing Council. Elisabete Weiderpass, who was also Finland’s candidate, was elected to be the new director of IARC from the beginning of 2019. Weiderpass has worked as a researcher at the Cancer Registry. The CSF took the initiative to nominate Weiderpass and actively promoted her candidacy in Finland and internationally.

IPAAC. The Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC) is a Joint Action funded under the EU’s Third Health Programme. The National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Cancer Society of Finland are Finland’s representatives in the project. IPAAC focuses on the practical implementation of EU cancer policies. The Cancer Society is in charge of Work Package 5, which deals with cancer prevention, early detection and cancer screening. WP5 is carried out within a three-year project that started in April 2018. In all, iPAAC comprises ten work packages. IPAAC is the fourth Joint Action related to cancer policy. Its goal is to build on experiences from the previous three (EPAAC, CANCON and JARC).

JARC. The CSF has been appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health as Finland’s representative in the three-year Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC), funded under the EU public health programme. JARC started in October 2016 and ends in autumn 2019. The CSF is responsible for the project’s internal evaluation (WP3 Evaluation) and is involved in four other subprojects. The second meeting of the project’s evaluation group was held in Helsinki in September 2018.

NCU. The Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) plays a number of important roles from the perspective of the CSF. Among other things, it funds joint Nordic cancer research projects. The Cancer Foundation pays the Finnish financial contribution to the NCU. In 2018, the NCU decided on funding for a Nordic comparative study on the total costs of cancer treatment. The study is based on research originally conducted in Finland. In 2018–2020, the NCU is under the management of the Danish Cancer Society, The Cancer Society of Finland will take the helm after the Danish Cancer Society.

UICC. In 2018, the CSF secretary general was in frequent contact with the CEO of the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) and other staff at the UICC headquarters in Geneva. A five-member CSF delegation participated in the World Cancer Congress in Kuala Lumpur in September. At the congress, the CSF organised a cancer screening symposium in collaboration with an American university. In addition, the CSF participated in the UICC’s World Cancer Day on 4 February through communications efforts in Finland.

ICISG, FCA and other networks. The CSF has a representative in the International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG). The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has been funded by the Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), of which the CSF is a member. The CSF is also involved in Prevent20, a coalition of national cancer associations working together to raise tobacco taxes and thereby prevent cancer. At the Nordic level, there is a network of experts that meets regularly around issues concerning advice and tobacco policy.

The international activities of the Cancer Registry are described in the section about the Registry’s activities.