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In 2016 the Cancer Society of Finland worked actively with the Nordic Cancer Union, European Cancer Leagues, and the Union for International Cancer Control. The CSF also played a role, either directly or indirectly, in international organisations linked to CSF activity.


The CSF was appointed by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health as the Finnish representative in conducting the three-year Cancon Joint Action to combat cancer, funded by the EU Health Programme, and which started in 2014 and ended in February 2017. The programme produced a practical framework, the European Guide, for tackling cancer in Europe for use by member states and different stakeholders (

The CSF coordinated two of Cancon’s nine work packages: Work Package 9 on screening, and Work Package 2 on communications. The CSF was also involved in Work Package 8 on survivorship and rehabilitation. The CSF budget in the initiative was about €1-million, while the whole Cancon budget was €6-million.

2016 was the last full year of the project’s operation, and the guide was completed. Cancon’s newsletter has about 650 subscribers, up from 450 subscribers in 2015, and is the most important channel for people outside the project’s target groups. The project also uses Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Google+. Its YouTube video channel was opened in December 2016.


CSF representatives took part in the annual conference of the European Cancer Leagues, held in Paris in November. The CSF secretary general was appointed as the ECL chairperson for a second term. The CSF participated in the activity of the ECL’s Patient Support working group, which includes issues such as cancer patients’ return to work and problems with insurance. ECL is a partner of the CSF in the Cancon project’s communications package.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Finnish Cancer Registry conducted collaborative research especially in the study of cancer screening and the cancer burden of developing countries.  The CSF secretary general was the second representative of Finland at the meeting of the IARC governing council in May.


The CSF is the appointed representative by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health of the three-year Joint Action on Rare Cancers, funded by EU public health programme, which started in November 2016. The CSF is responsible for the project’s internal evaluation (WP3 Evaluation) and is involved in four other subprojects. There are also two specialists involved in the initiative, via the CSF, from the Helsinki University Central Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre.

NCD Alliance

The Non-Communicable Disease Alliance, established by international organisations for cancer, heart diseases, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes supports through its activities the attainment of the objectives of the WHO’s NCD action programme. One of the main goals is to reduce by 25% the extra mortality associated with these diseases by 2025. The CSF participated in the NCD Alliance through the Finnish NCD Alliance.


The Nordic Cancer Union 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. NCU support helped build up the Nordic cancer registry’s online portal NORDCAN.

The NCU also initiates and coordinates cancer-related joint projects for developing cancer prevention and control. The CSF’s secretary general participates regularly in the activities of the NCU executive board and Riitta Pyhälä, vice chair of the Finnish Cancer Society, participated in the NCU general assembly in Iceland together with the secretary general.


CSF representatives took part as speakers and exhibitors, in connection with the CANCON project, at the World Cancer Congress of the Union for International cancer Control, held in November in Paris. The secretary general was also one of the speakers at the Summit of World Cancer Leaders held before the congress.

For the third and final year running, the Cancer Foundation funded the UICC partnership programme Together for Action. The programme aimed to make an impact in various ways on global cancer control. The CSF took part the UICC’s World Cancer Day on 4 February through communications work in Finland.

ICISG, FCA and other networks

The CSF has a representative in the International Cancer Information Service Group The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) has been funded by the Global Framework Convention Alliance (FCA), of which the CSF is a member. Experts from the FSC participated in the two European meetings of the McCabe Network on the legal aspects of WHO and UICC Cancer in 2016.