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The 80th anniversary of the Cancer Society of Finland was celebrated in 2016. The key messages of the anniversary were ‘for a good life, free from cancer and despite cancer’ and ‘voluntary work for cancer organisations is rewarding’.

The principle of voluntarism was a special theme of the anniversary. During the year local cancer associations awarded their volunteers and elected members with a variety of medals and tributes.

Artist Virpi Talvitie’s paintings titled Voimapuu (tree of strength) were presented as awards during the 2016 anniversary. The first recipient was the singer Riki Sorsa, who since 2007 had been a CSF goodwill ambassador. The CSF awarded an individual volunteer or group of volunteers from each of its regions. A total of 17 such awards were presented.

The CSF’s communications unit issued press releases on all the volunteer awards. There were altogether 23 press releases issued throughout the 2016 anniversary. The webpages of the 2016 anniversary were at

There were three national events held during the year: a scientific symposium in June in Jyväskylä, the SuomiAreena public debate forum in Pori in July, and the CSF’s 80th birthday celebrations in November in Helsinki. The Niilo Voipio award was presented to professor Heikki Joensuu in Jyväskylä

There were three discussion events held at the SuomiAreena forum: a debate on whether the speed of access to treatment significant in cancer treatment, a reception for stakeholders at Pori Art Museum, and public debate on the theme of the enjoyment of sport and volunteering.

The CSF’s 80th anniversary events on 22 November were also threefold: a morning prayer service in the crypt of Helsinki Cathedral and a main celebration at the House of the Estates, and in the evening a party for the CSF’s elected members and members of staff at the Festival Hall on Unioninkatu.

There were two broadcast spots shown on Yle (the Finnish Broadcasting Company) channels during the 2016 anniversary. At the start of the year, a video titled Did I Quit too Late? by the singer Riki Sorsa, who was suffering from lung cancer, was broadcast, in which he talked about  his relationship with smoking. From 14 – 27 November, the CSF anniversary broadcast spot titled Information Support Hope was shown on Yle channels.

A study was carried out during the year in conjunction with the National Institute for Health and Welfare on the issue of cancer patients’ access to treatment. Trial use of the system and guide concerning the project started at the beginning of January 2017.

Volunteers who received CSF awards:

  • Cancer Society of South Finland: Paula Lumme
  • Cancer Society of Central Finland: Olavi Keskinen
  • Cancer Society of Kymenlaakso: Aino Pellinen
  • Cancer Society of South-West Finland: Tarja-Liisa Kukkonen
  • Cancer Society of Pirkanmaa: Jarmo Hautamäki
  • Cancer Society of Pohjanmaa: Aino Pihlajamäki
  • Cancer Society of North Karelia: Tyyne Laitinen
  • Cancer Society of North Savo: flea market volunteers
  • Cancer Society of North Finland: Utsjoen kerho
  • Cancer Society of Saimaa: Pirjo Olkkonen
  • Cancer Society of Satakunta: Maija Mahlamäki
  • Finnish Breast Cancer Association – Europa Donna Finland: Heidi Vekkeli
  • Propo Finnish Prostate Cancer Association: Risto Laitinen
  • Finnish Oral Cancer Association: Vesa Hujala
  • Colores – Finnish Colorectal Cancer Association: Päivi Seppänen
  • Association of Cancer Patients in Finland: Tarja Pullinen
  • Finnish Association of Children and Young People with Cancer, Sylva: Team Rynkeby Finland