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The Finnish Cancer Society was active in the Nordic Cancer Union (NCU), the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) and the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

The CSF was also involved in other international organisations directly or indirectly related to the activities of the CSF.

Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL). CSF representatives took part in the ECL annual meeting and annual seminar, held online in November, where speakers included EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides and IARC Director Elisabete Weiderpass. The CSF’s Secretary General’s five-year (2015-20) ECL chairperson ended with this meeting. The organisation now has 30 member associations from 24 countries. The CSF has participated in the ECL’s Patient Support working group, which has focused on topics such as return to work for cancer patients, volunteering, rehabilitation, cancer and sexuality, and problems with insurance. We are also involved in the Access to Medicines Task Force.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the Finnish Cancer Registry cooperate in research, especially on screening and research on the cancer burden in developing countries. The Director of Statistics at the Finnish Cancer Registry is a member of the IARC Scientific Council and was elected as the new chairperson.

Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC). The CSF is responsible for the totality of cancer prevention, early detection and cancer screening in the Joint Action project, which started in April 2018 and runs until the end of 2021. The iPAAC is a project funded by the EU Health Programme, in which Finland is represented by the National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) and the CSF. The iPAAC project has a total of 10 work packages. This is the fourth Joint Action on cancer policy, so the aim is to gather experience from previous projects (EPAAC, CANCON and JARC). The iPAAC focuses on the practical means of carrying out cancer policy in EU countries. Almost 20 countries are participating in Work Package 5, on prevention, coordinated by the CSF. Three international meetings on WP5 were held in 2019-2020, in cooperation with ECL and the IARC. They had about 80 participants. The two published reports of the WP are available on the project website. The CSF participated in the commenting on the EU Cancer Plan (Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan) and in the foresight work in the spring on the EU cancer research report Conquering Cancer, Mission Possible 2020.

Joint Action on Rare Cancers (JARC). The CSF was 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. The CSF was responsible for the project’s internal evaluation of the project (WP3 Evaluation) and was involved in four other sub-projects of the Joint Action. In February 2020, the final output of the project was the publication of the book Rare Cancer Agenda 2030 – Ten Recommendations from the EU Joint Action on Rare Cancers.

The Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) funds joint Nordic cancer research projects. The Finnish Cancer Foundation pays the Finnish contribution to the NCU. The union has also supported the development of NORDCAN, a common web portal for Nordic cancer registries, and initiates and coordinates joint projects with the CSF to develop cancer treatment and prevention. As in previous years, the NCU awarded €750 000 in research grants, of which 2 projects were led by Finnish researchers. In addition, the NCU awarded €200,000 in strategic funding to address the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic on cancer prevention and treatment in the Nordic region (Covid-19 and cancer in the Nordic region).

The chairmanship and secretariat of the NCU rotates from one member association to another every three years. In 2018-2020, the NCU was chaired by the Danish Cancer Society, and in 2021 the CSF will take over the three-year chairmanship. Preparations for the presidency started in 2019, and a project NCUpj2021-23 was run throughout 2020 to support the preparations.

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The CSF is a member of the UICC. The UICC organised the traditional World Cancer Day 2020 on 4 February, in which the CSF participated. The UICC had to postpone and then cancel its World Cancer Conference in 2020. The UICC General Assembly was held virtually in October 2020. The UICC held virtual dialogues on various topics with the participation of CSF staff. The next World Conference has been postponed to 2022 in Geneva.

ICISG, FCA and other networks. The CSF has a representative in the International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG). Funding for the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has been carried out by the worldwide Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), of which the CSF is a member. The CSF is also a member of the global Prevent20 network, which aims to reduce the use of tobacco products through taxation, and the Smokefree Partnership network in Europe. At the Nordic level, there is a network of experts that meets regularly around issues concerning advice and tobacco policy.

Since 2019, the CSF has had a representative in the Nordic Network for Overweight Prevention.

Below, the international activities of the Finnish Cancer Registry are described together with the Registry’s other activities.