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Through social advocacy, the CSF aims to promote its goals at the level of policy decision-making. These goals cover the whole spectrum of activities and relate to all stages of the cancer patient's path.

Social advocacy

The Covid-19 pandemic still impacted social advocacy and its usual scope for activity. There were fewer face-to-face meetings than in any normal year. The coronavirus crisis also put new issues on the political agenda, which slowed down certain other issues.

Social policy paper. The project launched in 2020 to develop a social policy paper for the CSF was continued. It was approved in May by the boards of the CSF and the Cancer Foundation Boards and was published in Finnish and Swedish. The policy paper was communicated internally, for instance at staff meetings, at the Executive Directors’ meeting and at a webinar of the organisation.

Screening. Advocacy linked to screening programmes by lobbying on the positions of the National Steering Group for Cancer Screening and by reminding the Ministry of Finance’s senior officials of the centrality of the colorectal cancer screening programme in the government programme and the need to secure its funding in the General Government Fiscal plan and in the financial negotiations between municipalities and ministries.

It was decided to include an increase of EUR 10 million for the national colorectal cancer screening programme in the government programme in the state contribution to municipalities’ basic services from 2022 onwards. In accordance with the government’s decision, the national colorectal cancer screening programme will start on 1 January 2022.

During the spring, the CSF also participated in the public debate on the Prostate Cancer Screening Bill.

Municipal and regional elections.

After the end of the One Life Health Initiative in June 2021, cooperation between social welfare organisations in the Network of Uncontrollable Diseases continued. The joint municipal election goals adopted the previous year were promoted through meetings with parliamentary parties. Municipal election materials were made available to member associations, and the One Life joint ‘campaign machine’,, was published.

In February, the One Life Health Initiative organised a webinar “Let’s talk about money and wellbeing municipalities”, which focused on cooperation between organisations and municipalities in promoting wellbeing. More than 300 participants attended. In December, the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD Alliance organised a “Let’s talk about money and wellbeing regions” webinar on preventive health care and its potential to generate financial savings in wellbeing regions. Around 150 participants attended.

Parliament’s One Life Network which changed its name in November to the Parliamentary Network for Non-Communicable Diseases, met twice during the year. In March and November, they discussed the prevention of obesity and the role of preventive health care in wellbeing regions. A Parliamentary NCD Network position paper was published on the occasion of both meetings.

Health and social services reform. Active health and social services reform (Sote) advocacy was carried out with the One Life organisations, involving contacts with ministers, special advisers to ministers, MSAH officials and members of parliament. A key aspect was the promotion of wellbeing and health and the successful transition of tasks transferred from the municipalities to the wellbeing services counties. Parliament approved the reform of health and social services in June. Regional elections will be held in January 2022 and responsibility for organising social welfare services will be transferred to the wellbeing counties on 1 January 2023.

FICAN cooperation. The theme of the FICAN cooperation days was good practices in health promotion for cancer patients. There was a large number of participants and feedback was received calling for the continuation of the cooperation days. During the year, meetings were held with regional cancer centres. A tour of cancer care units could not take place due to the Covid-19 crisis. The regional cancer centres did not receive the expected funding during the year, which had a major impact on the scope for cooperation. We lobbied MPs on the funding requested by the regional cancer centres. This was fully implemented as part of the supplementary budget approved by Parliament, so the cancer centres’ activities will be stabilised.

Tobacco policy. The government’s bill to amend the Tobacco Act was delayed until spring 2021 due to the Covid-19 crisis. We were actively engaged with the MSAH officials prepared the law reform. We submitted a statement on the amendment of the Tobacco Act to the MSAH and to the Parliamentary Committee on Social Affairs and Health.

At the beginning of the year, the CSF ran a campaign to encourage people to quit smoking, highlighting the importance of quitting smoking at a time of the Covid-19 crisis. The website provided information on how to quit smoking and the support available. The campaign was showcased by outdoor advertising in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku and Tampere. In addition, the Finnish National Board of Education published a joint blog on the Nicotine-Free Amis approach to promote nicotine-free vocational education and training.

Rehabilitation advocacy. The CSF wanted to bring the voice of patients and clients into the discussion on rehabilitation, which requires a client survey by several social organisations. In the autumn, work began on a patient survey on the impact of rehabilitation in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Foundation, the Finnish Diabetes Association and the Heart Association of Finland. The survey will be carried out in spring 2022.

Advocacy for funding of organisations. The Ministry of Finance’s 2022 draft budget proposed a significant cut in state aid to organisations. The organisations’ advocacy work yielded results and the government decided to reverse the cuts to organisations and other entities. We issued statement on the reform of the Lotteries Act in October. The reform of the Lotteries Act may provide a more long-term solution to the funding problem.

International advocacy work. We will chair the Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) until the end of 2023. We actively monitored the implementation of the EU Cancer Plan, and communicated our views to the public and the Ministry of Health. We carried out advocacy activities both at national and EU level together with ECL. ECL’s Access to Medicines project continued, and as part of it we were involved in influencing ECL’s position to the EU Commission, the European Parliament and its committees.

Management system

Overall management system. At the end of 2018, the CSF started to develop a management system. The areas for development at that time were seen as dealing with future scenarios and alternative plans, systematisation and planning of decision-making, preparation of issues, monitoring of the budget and assessment of various deviations, risks and threats in relation to activities, and clarification of strategy and plans at group level.

In particular, 2021 saw the development of activity-based management systems for decision-making. These projects involved a wide range of staff, both internal and external. Examples include the reform of the financial management and reporting environment, the development of new marketing analytics, and development projects that have been promoted through continuous improvement, in particular by all cancer organisations working together.

The recruitment of a new secretary general started in the autumn. Changes to the operational structure, management responsibilities and service lines of both the Health Department and the Cancer Registry were prepared in view of staff changes and retirements in 2022.

Member associations. The development of cooperation with member associations as part of the management system is an integral part of the implementation of the plans and strategy. The joint strategy will strengthen the activities and objectives of the CSF as a stronger national player in all sectors of cancer work. The strategic development programmes are a concrete plan at organisational level, which will be implemented as projects during the strategy period.

A model for project activities. The introduction and consolidation of the Proppu project model and the project office were strengthened. Observations and development needs concerning the various projects were put into practice in the form of guidelines and new materials. Where appropriate, Proppu will also be introduced in member associations. The aim is that all project activities of the CSF will implement a well-designed, coherent approach as a systematic tool for managing project planning. At the end of the year, the project office’s resources were reinforced by one person.

Development programmes

Five development programmes are at the heart of the cancer:

  • We work with people to benefit people.
  • We do things that have a major impact.
  • We promote our goals at every encounter.
  • We develop cooperation and a division of labour within the organisation.
  • We strengthen cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment by improving cancer research and expertise.

For each development programme, a member of the management team has been appointed as its owner, under whose guidance the definition and preparation of the projects in the development programme is carried out. During the preparation process, 24 different projects were proposed for implementation during the strategy period 2021-2025. Five projects were implemented in 2021.

Developing more consistent communications. The aim of the project was to raise the profile of the organisation and increase the effectiveness of its communications. It deepened client knowledge of the organisation’s communicators in order to develop a common communications approach, to find out what health professionals want from the CSF’s communications and how to develop communications cooperation within the organisation. Communications development workshops were held with member associations to create common communication platforms, more effective internal collaboration processes and content strategies for member association communication. The roll-out of the project outputs within the organisation will start in 2022.

Social policy paper. The project launched last year to develop a social policy paper for the CSF continued. The social change that the CSF seeks and the means to achieve it are contained in the same document, which guides all of the CSF’s social impact. The content of the policy paper was discussed by the Boards’ evening school, the advocacy group and the Executive Director meetings, and an internal round of comments was made to experts. The project progressed on schedule and the social policy paper was approved at the Boards of Directors of the CSF and the Finnish Cancer Foundation in May. The social policy paper was published in Finnish and Swedish, and during the autumn it was presented at, for example, a staff meeting, an executive director’s meeting and an organisational webinar. In the future, dissemination will be carried out as part of the normal advocacy work.

Developing the Finnish Cancer Registry’s research and expert services (Tutka). The aim of the project was to develop a client and target group-oriented approach to cancer burden monitoring. A new statistical app was developed for cancer registry data providers to illustrate the number and coverage of clinical cancer notifications to the cancer registry by region, and to help communicate cancer notification gaps to the medical districts. Clinical cancer notifications are important, particularly in terms of cancer prevalence and time of detection, and this information is increasingly not being reported to the Cancer Registry.

The development programme also started to produce thematic statistics for different target groups. The first was the publication of statistics on childhood cancers. This is accessible via web browser and the content has been generalised with texts accompanying the statistics. Data sheets were also developed on the statistical data for each individual cancer in terms of cancer burden and cancer screening. New formats for the presentation of statistics were prepared, in particular to meet the needs of the regional cancer societies.

CSF services and their availability in different parts of Finland. The project mapped the current situation of the CSF’s services, the wishes and needs of client groups and the need for changes in service development and division of labour. The service package was developed in joint workshops with the employees and management of the cancer organisations.

The project resulted in a description of the current situation and a proposal for the development of the services provided by the CSF. In 2022, the project’s proposals will be discussed and a decision on further action taken on the basis of the discussion.

New forms of volunteering. The aim of the project was to strengthen the volunteering processes in the CSF. The output was a description of the current situation regarding resources and skills needs for volunteer management, as well as needs for improvement. In cooperation with the service design office Passi & Ripatti, a description of the volunteer path and the volunteer management process was produced, as well as a description card for volunteer tasks. A video was also produced, which will be used for recruiting volunteers and marketing volunteering in social media. A volunteer management training plan for 2022-2023 for professionals and managers working in the field of volunteering in the Cancer Society was completed. The training will be delivered by Osana, a training and consultancy company.

Organisational activities

The development of organisational activities are linked to the projects of the development programmes for the 2021-25 strategic period.

The total membership of the 18 member associations of the CSF continued to decrease and stood at around 106 000 at the end of 2021.

The Organising Committee and the Executive Directors’ meeting. The key issues concerning the work of the organisation are discussed by the Organising Committee and the Executive Directors’ Meetings, which play a key role in the development and monitoring of cancer organisations.

The Organising Committee supports the Board in its decision-making. It monitors the implementation of the development plan and takes initiatives. Each member association is represented in turn on the Organising Committee, chaired in 2021 by Board member Annikki Thodén. The Organising Committee met four times during the year.

The Executive Committee is a forum for interaction, coordination and cooperation between key officials of the organisation. Six meetings were held, and remote meetings of the Executive Directors were held about every two weeks. The meetings were chaired by Suvi Jolkkonen, Executive Director of the Cancer Society of North Karelia, and Seppo Rajaniemi, Executive Director of the Cancer Society of North Finland.

The organisation’s Swedish-language activities were discussed at two separate meetings of the Executive Directors. The Cancer Society of Pohjanmaa was responsible for coordinating the Swedish-language activities.

Cancer Society Days. The annual Cancer Society Days bring together the CSF staff and representatives of the associations to discuss topical issues. In the autumn, the event was held as two organisational webinars on the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on cancer care, national screening for colorectal cancer, the CSF’s social policy paper and the fundraising and lobbying activities of the member associations.

Support for cancer work. This support for member CSF member associations is mainly aimed at hiring counsellors and is applied for annually. Each year, the Cancer Foundation contributes more than EUR 600 000 to the activities. Funding is channelled through the Pink Ribbon campaign and the foundation’s operating fund.

The foundation’s aim is to enable equal cancer services throughout Finland. Support for cancer work will continue to have a strong place in supporting the public health and social services sector. The support is targeted at psychosocial support, counselling and information, for example, which is difficult to obtain comprehensively from the public health sector.

The effectiveness of the support is measured through annual reporting as part of the annual report and accounts of the member associations.

The two-year stand-alone projects launched in 2019 continued in part into 2021, with content ranging from developing dance therapy for cancer patients to ‘health bus’ activities and the development of digital service models. Project funding was used to assess, among other things, the added value of developing activities, the extent of co-development by member associations and the potential for service conceptualisation. The projects and their results were presented and evaluated at Executive Director meetings and at meetings of the Organising Committee.

Joint statistics. Joint statistics within the CSF were further developed and common statistical practices were introduced to enable joint data collection.

Human resources

As an employer, the CSF aim to ensure that staff members enjoy their work, are committed and motivated, and receive adequate and timely support for their work and skills development.

During 2021, 113 person-years were worked in the central office

Flexible working and working practices. The coronavirus pandemic period challenged us to do work in new ways. Throughout the period, almost everyone worked remotely. Policies and tools to support teleworking were developed, as were meeting practices. Three pulse surveys were carried out on staff wellbeing and work performance. The response rate was around 80%. They showed a good adaptation to teleworking, but there was an experience of loneliness and a lack of communication. The development of practices will continue in 2022 as part of the HR programme development work.

During 2021, a review of the current status of the HR programme was promoted and will serve as a basis for outlining development priorities for the coming years. In view of the continued pandemic situation and teleworking, it was decided to postpone the study on the future of the premises until 2022.

HR systems were integrated and automated and operational processes simplified as part of the overall financial system reform. The division of labour and the flow of information between the different functions in terms of staff and management were improved. Management forums met regularly in Teams meetings.

Great Place to Work (GPTW). In the autumn, the CSF took part in the GPTW-Finnish Best Places to Work survey, which will be used to develop the management culture and managerial practices. The results of the staff survey were received in December. Seventy-five percent of respondents rated our workplace as either very good or good, and we continued to receive GPTW certification as a sign of good workplace practices. Staff particularly value the meaningfulness of our work, the flexibility of working and the employee benefits. The results will be used to develop HR performance indicators and to strengthen the employer image of the CSF.

Wellbeing at work was systematically developed in cooperation with the well-being at work organisation and the trustees. The wellbeing at work group and the health and safety committee met regularly and reviewed and guided the implementation of the wellbeing at work plan.

Data management, data protection and security

Data management improves the efficiency and security of ICT infrastructure and services. In order to contribute to this, Microsoft Autopilot and AzureAD were upgraded when the equipment was replaced. Data management also contributed to the software upgrade of the financial management and fundraising systems.

Common ERP system for member associations (Järkkäri). Statistical improvements were made to the common enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for member associations, the processes and technical platform for membership invoicing were renewed and Järkkäri was introduced for benefits advice. The IT department of the central organisation is primarily responsible for the process reengineering and for organising the development and implementation of the system.

The Cancer Registry data system project continued the development of the operational quality assurance application for mass screening, with a new functionality including a supplementary section for follow-up uterine screening data. The application combines data from the Hilmo treatment notification system and the Cancer Registry, which can be used to complete the follow-up data. The app is expected to go into operational use in spring 2022.

Data protection and security. The CSF is subject to the requirements on the processing of documents and data security of state administration authorities (Act on Information Management in Public Administration (906/2019)). Personal data are processed in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (679/2016) and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018).

The CSF and its employees are jointly responsible for working safely in terms of data protection and security. At the CSF, data protection and security are handled by the data protection officer, the data security manager, a person consulting technical data security and a data security group dealing with data protection and data security issues.

The reform of data security policy was launched at the end of the year. The data protection officer and the data security manager briefed 27 new employees on data protection and data security issues with updated materials. The CSF has expanded the range of distance learning courses during the coronavirus pandemic. The data protection of online distance learning services was clarified and course providers were instructed on data protection. The obligations of the General Data Protection Regulation were also implemented by continuing to inform data subjects about their rights and the processing of their personal data in personal registers. Data protection contracts were concluded for personal data processing activities outsourced to subcontractors. Member associations were advised on data protection issues.

The national launch of colorectal cancer screening in 2022 was anticipated by updating the data protection documents of the Cancer Registry. The fourth data statement of the Cancer Registry was published. Preparations were made for a data-secure environment in line with the Data Permit Authority’s order. The CSF’s scientific research data protection documentation tools were updated.

Technical data security. Internal network equipment was upgraded and this will continue in 2022. A new VPN connection with multi-factor authentication was introduced. Changes to systems were made in response to security threats.

Finance and administration

2021 was a year of renewal for the finance. A cloud-based ERP solution for financial management was acquired for the CSF, enabling multi-business and support services to be provided to member associations. The project modernised financial management models, financial processes, reporting tools, payment transactions and invoicing.

In parallel with the financial management system reform, other systems were upgraded, such as the fundraising client management system and the Järkkäri ERP system. In addition, a centralised financial services model was developed and a start was made on organising the services for a single member association. The development of the service will continue in 2022. The financial services function was strengthened by the recruitment of a financial services manager.

The existing HR systems were improved by integrating them into the overall system and increasing automation. The aim was to ensure the accuracy and quality of information flows and to achieve clearer and more transparent processes for finance and other support functions. This included improving the predictability of finances and systematising forecasts as part of operational activities.

Developing operations and the division of labour. Improving and clarifying the internal functioning and division of labour within the CSF is a specific objective of the support functions. In the joint strategic development programme of the CSF, work and mapping will start on the financial themes, but will continue to identify other activities where cost savings and synergies can be found through operational development. These include staff skills development and joint audit services and procurement.

The reform of the financial system was accompanied by the development of a centralised financial services model for member associations. The service was implemented by one member association at the start of 2022.

Funding development. The funding of the CSF is partly dependent on the development of the national budget. It was foreseeable that funding would decrease, especially for STEA-funded activities and for the activities of the Cancer Registry. However, the financial performance for the financial year was good and the funding limits for the activities remained at their planned levels. Strategic financial management and revenue and operational funding were strengthened through a long-term investment plan, which set out new principles for investment asset classes, allocation and investment objectives.

Other measures. Staff training on financial and HR reforms was provided. In addition, a project management model was developed and implemented. Changes were made to the organisational structure, with the lead responsibility for the project office being transferred to the Finance and Administration Department. At the same time, the coordination of projects was strengthened by the recruitment of a full-time employee.


Objectives and results. In 2021, the Cancer Foundation aimed to raise EUR 11 million in donations and corporate income, of which EUR 3 million in bequests. Fundraising priorities were bequests, the Pink Ribbon Collection and monthly investments. The concept and visual identity of the Christmas collection was brightened up.

The Cancer Foundation’s fundraising activities generated a total of EUR 17.8 million, of which EUR 6.8 million came from bequests. Fundraising income increased by 37% compared to the previous year. Total administrative and fundraising expenses were 18% (21% in 2020).

These revenues strengthen the Foundation’s role as a major funder of cancer research and as a provider of support services for patients and cancer work through the CSF.

Donations. The aim was to increase the number of monthly donors to 23 000. We exceeded the target by a wide margin, and at the end of 2021 the Cancer Foundation had 33 500 monthly donors.

The main methods were an annual TV programme and strong online and telemarketing activities. We launched an in-house telemarketing team to do telephone marketing alongside an external telemarketing company. Marketing activities were carried out online and in print to attract new bequests. There was a gratifying number of subscriptions to the online bequest newsletter. Will marketing was strongly integrated with other fundraising activities and synergies were sought when planning the various campaigns.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM). In January, a project to modernise the CRM system was launched following a call for tenders. The new Salesforce system was tested and implemented in September. The scope and careful completion of the project required strong collaboration between the entire fundraising and administration, finance and IT departments.

Marketing. The new customer relationship management system was accompanied by the introduction of the Marketing Cloud, a marketing automation tool. It is a marketing toolkit that allows marketing to be targeted to different audiences in the right channel, at the right time and with the right content. Through marketing automation, the resources of the marketing team can be allocated more efficiently. The Cancer Foundation’s competitive factor rollout started with content planning, with the main objective of strengthening the brand and engaging donors.

Major donors. A separate programme was launched to attract major donors, with the aim of raising a fourth major grant of EUR 450,000 over the next three years. This target was already achieved in the first year, and the major grant was awarded in November. An event was organised for all major donors to celebrate the achievement of the target.

Pink ribbon. The 2021 Pink Ribbon and bracelet was designed by Eva Wahlström. The overarching theme of the collection was ‘bounds are not for us’. ‘Boundless’ could refer to boundless sorrow or grief, and the theme worked well on both the individual and corporate giving side. For the second year running, the proceeds of the fundraiser supported research into all cancers, with bowel cancer being chosen as the research topic.

The collection started with a press conference at the Musiikkitalo concert hall, which was streamed via the Pink Ribbon website. The collection took place in October and ended with the announcement of the results in February the following year. Donors, partners and volunteers were thanked in the marketing and communication of the launch. A number of public figures, experience experts and cancer researchers participated in the fundraising.

The Pink Ribbon Collection included a strong digital marketing effort using the new Marketing Cloud marketing tool. The campaign set a target of EUR 3.5 million and raised a record EUR 4.9 million.

Christmas collection. This raised funds for families in need of financial support who have been affected by cancer. The number of applications for support has increased tenfold in ten years. In addition to the experts by experience, Anssi Kela, Kiti Kokkonen and Maaret Kallio participated in the Christmas collection. The collection met its target and raised EUR 700 000.


The aim of the CSF’s communications is to provide information and services in a way that is easy to find and that supports the target groups of cancer organisations in their various information needs.

The Communications Unit is responsible for the CSF’s internal and external communications, brand and reputation. It also carries out the communications of the different operations of the CSF central office – health services, health promotion and the Finnish Cancer Registry – in cooperation with them.

The range of communications tools and channels is wide. In 2021, advocacy communications was strengthened alongside traditional communications. Communications channels included dedicated social media and online channels, videos, Syöpä-Cancer magazine, newsletters and disseminated materials. In addition, visibility was sought through purchased media space with multi-channel campaigns.

Boosting awareness and branding. Competition for visibility is increasingly intense. The CSF’s consistent visual conspicuousness was reinforced by the use of common brand images and ppt-boards. In-house experts received media and social media training to support employee communication. The external newsletter was subscribed to by almost 1 000 people and appeared 11 times.

Campaign communications. The Tobacco Pandemic campaign was launched at the beginning of January to draw smokers’ attention to the importance of quitting smoking in the context of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

The campaign was displayed at outdoor advertising sites in Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku and Tampere, on the wall of the Musiikkitalo concert hall, in selected magazines and in the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat. The advertising campaign was also visible on social media.

The campaign had 17 media hits and reached more than 10 million people. On social media, the campaign had 52 hits and reached just over 967 000 people. There were also hits on Twitter and Facebook. More than 800 people were directed to the campaign’s landing page, the Tobacco Pandemic website, from social media.

On World Cancer Day on 4 February, social media channels were used to promote the health benefits of a regular circadian rhythm.

During European Cancer Week in May, the theme was sexuality as part of cancer survivors’ lives. A survey of cancer patients by cancer organisations showed that more than half of cancer patients lack adequate support for sexuality-related problems. Altogether 727 people with cancer responded to the survey. Syöpä-Cancer magazine held a writing competition for entries under the title ‘Cancer does not take away humanity – experiences of the body and sexuality’. The competition produced around thirty entries, some of which were published in the digital magazine. During Cancer Week, the entries to the writing competition and interviews with experts on cancer and sexuality were shared on social media.

Accessibility and customer focus were key themes in the development of communications. The accessibility of the CSF’s website was audited at the end of the year, and the accessibility improvements initiated as a result will continue in 2022.

The client perspective of the websites was explored by setting up a focus group. A first focus group survey was conducted online and 28 people responded. The survey found that the All About Cancer website provides a wide range of relevant information for people with cancer and their loved ones. Up to 93% of respondents with cancer felt that the content on the site helped them to cope with a challenging life situation. All respondents in the loved ones group felt that the content on the site helped them to cope. Some 70% of respondents to the Without Cancer website felt that the content on the site encouraged them to make healthier lifestyle changes.

The customer perspective was also taken into account in Syöpä-Cancer magazine. The magazine’s 35-member reader panel evaluates the magazine’s layout and content four times a year and comes up with ideas for new content.

Websites. The main external online media are the All About Cancer, Cancer Society of Finland,Free  from Cancer and Finnish Cancer Registry websites. The Communications Unit is responsible for updating, analytics, development and marketing of the websites.

The All About Cancer, CSF and Free from Cancer websites provide up-to-date information on cancer prevention, cancer, cancer survivorship and the organisation’s services. The aim is to help people with cancer and their loved ones to cope with difficult life circumstances and to support those interested in their own health to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The Finnish Cancer Registry website presents cancer statistics and their interpretation, as well as information on the Finnish cancer burden, in a clear and understandable way to the general public. Research data is communicated to researchers and experts. New and already processed cancer information is provided to the media.

In a highly competitive online environment, the development of all CSF websites is based on search engine optimisation, analytics, conversion optimisation and the increasing use of social media and blogs.

Cookie surveys, required by the EU Data Protection Regulation, were built into the sites. The All About Cancer website was developed on the basis of studies carried out in the previous year’s digitalisation project. The project explored the needs of patients and relatives and used service design to identify the digital services that would best serve them. A tool was built for the All About Cancer website to better highlight rehabilitation courses and articles in the digital magazine. The personalisation element allows users to be targeted with content that is of particular interest to them.

The All About Cancer website had almost 1 208 000 visitors in Finnish (1 615 000 in 2020). The Swedish site had around 100 500 visitors and the English site around 31 400. The most popular section of the site was still the Cancer section. The Google for organisations programme provides the CSF with a monthly advertising budget of $10 000 for Google marketing.

The Finnish-language pages of the CSF website had around 178 000 visitors per year (220 000 in 2020). The Swedish and English pages had a total of around 40 000 visitors.

The Free from Cancer website is aimed at people interested in their own health and cancer prevention. The Finnish site received around 108 000 visitors during the year (190 000 in 2020). The reasons for the decrease in the number of visitors to the sites were investigated, including increased competition in search engine marketing and the addition of cookie surveys to the sites.

There was a slight increase in the number of visitors to the Cancer Registry website: 76 200 visitors in 2021 compared to 67 080 in 2020. The English version has 6 000 visitors and the Swedish version 2 300. The most popular content on the site includes cancer and screening statistics and an app where visitors can search for different cancer statistics themselves.

Cookie surveys were built into the member associations’ websites as required by the EU’s data protection regulation.

A new website for the Nordic Cancer Union (NCU) was implemented. The project is linked to the CSF’s three-year presidency of the NCU, which started in 2021.

Social media. The Communications Unit is responsible for two Facebook channels and the CSF’s LinkedIn channel. At the end of 2021, the CSF’s Facebook page had 12 202 followers (11 516 in 2020). The Good Life Without Cancer page had 433 followers (399 likes in 2020). The LinkedIn channel had 518 followers at the end of the year (281 in 2020). LinkedIn communications focus on organisational and employer brand themes, while the Facebook channels publish content for people with cancer and their loved ones, as well as for anyone interested in their own health.

The two Twitter accounts are coordinated by the CSF’s Communications Unit. The CSF’s account is used to publish current issues and newsletters of the organisation. The account is followed by 2 975 people (2 802 in 2020). The Finnish Cancer Registry’s account focuses mainly on the scientific communication of the Cancer Registry. The account is followed by 606 people (532 in 2020). The CSF’s Instagram channel shares content related to health promotion and current issues of the CSF, among other things. The channel had 1 950 followers at the end of 2021 (1 700 in 2020). The organisation also has a YouTube channel with 1 640 subscribers (1 490 in 2020).

Media communications provides information on cancer treatment and prevention, the organisation’s services and statistics and research from the Cancer Registry. It also seeks to influence issues such as health legislation.

In 2021, media visibility was generated by topics such as cancer screening and research, cancer screening and nicotine products. The Communications Unit published 22 press releases. Some content previously published as bulletins was now published as online news and shared via social media.

Media monitoring will be used to better analyse not only traditional media but also social media and blogs. To improve the media service, a qualitative survey was carried out on journalists’ views on the communication and media service provided by the CSF.

Syöpä-Cancer magazine is the most important of the printed products. The magazine was published four times and had a circulation of 93 194. The magazine was mailed to members of the CSF’s member associations and to subscribers. A Swedish-language supplement was published in the magazine and was available for subscription. Some 4 900 copies of the Swedish supplement were mailed. The magazine’s steering group met twice by Teams.

The magazine has a digital version in Finnish and Swedish on the All about cancer website. For each issue of the print magazine, an effort was made to produce articles, complemented by a video interview.

Communication between member associations was supported by the project on the harmonisation of communications in the CSF, which included building common processes for planning and implementing communication and creating common communication templates for use by the whole organisation. The national communication team met monthly via Teams and was given two training days.

Internal communications. The Communications Unit is responsible for the development of a common intranet for cancer organisations and training of staff. Teams, the intranet and the internal newsletter played a key role in the success of remote working. The internal newsletter was published 10 times during the year.

Teams training continued in the central office and in member associations. Two internal surveys were carried out by the Communications Unit to examine the use of the intranet and Teams throughout the organisation. These revealed, among other things, the need to activate news production on the Intranet and to continue to support the commitment of member associations to the use of the Intranet and the national Teams groups. A call for tenders was issued for the renewal of the Intranet technical platform.

The Cancer Foundation works with the CSF’s Communications Unitto build innovative and timely scientific communications. The work of the CSF’s research institute, the Finnish Cancer Registry, is utilised and awareness of epidemiological research raised.

The Cancer Foundation’s communications will support the foundation’s strategic objectives and raise its profile. Its brand was strengthened through stronger and more systematic donor communications. The core messages of donor communications were clarified and the implementation of the Cancer Foundation’s competitive factors in marketing communications was initiated. The aim is to strengthen the foundation’s role as the not-for-profit organisation of choice.

Communication about research grants and the online application process have been moved to the Cancer Foundation’s website, and researchers will be more strongly engaged in sharing the results of their work in the context of the Research Journey concept. Online and social media communication will be developed to be more analytics-driven and planned.

Awards and prizes

The CSF pays tribute to those who have made a significant contribution to the fight against cancer, cancer treatment and the work of cancer organisations in various ways.

Cancer control medals are either gold, silver or bronze. They are awarded annually on the proposal of the member associations and the CSF central office. The Medals Committee, elected by the CSF Council, considers the nominations received and makes a proposal to the spring meeting of the Council.

Oncologist and Oncology Nurse of the Year prizes are awarded annually. The amount of the award is EUR 5 000. The Oncologist of the Year award was given to Jarkko Ahvonen, a specialist in cancer medicine at Tayski University Hospital, and the Oncology Nurse of the Year award to Magdalena Nyvall-Malm, a clinical specialist nurse and assistant ward sister at the palliative care outpatient clinic at Vaasa Central Hospital.

International activities

International activities have two main aims: to contribute to cancer care through international organisations and networks, and peer learning. Much of the international cooperation was carried out remotely.

Nordic Cancer Union (NCU). 2021 marked the start of Finland’s three-year presidency of the NCU. The cancer organisations organised three NCU board meetings (the first two virtually and the December meeting in Helsinki).

The CSF organised three NCU Board meetings (the first two virtually and the December meeting in Helsinki).

The CSF was fully responsible for implementing the NCU research funding application process and managing the funding. In 2021, the NCU decided to fund 28 joint Nordic research projects with a total of EUR 750,000. Two strategic project decisions were taken to continue participation in the European Fair Pricing Network and NORDCAN – Cancer statistics for the Nordic countries.

The NCU Board meetings heard many presentations on cancer, both from the CSF’s own experts and from national and international visitors. Topics covered included issues related to childhood cancer, Covid-19 and cancer in the Nordic countries, the cost of cancer treatment in the Nordic countries and the history of bowel cancer screening in Finland.

Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) on is a cooperation of national cancer organisations with 30 member organisations from 25 European countries. Based in Brussels, the ECL lobbies the European Commission and the European Parliament. Together with its member organisations, ECL works to ensure equal access to high quality and appropriate treatment throughout Europe. ECL also plays an active role in raising cancer awareness. ECL’s annual meetings were held remotely in November.

WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Active scientific and cancer-related collaboration is carried out with the IARC. Janne Pitkäniemi, Director of Statistics at the Finnish Cancer Registry, was the Finnish representative and Chair of the IARC Scientific Council.

Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). The CSF is a member of the UICC and supports cancer control in non-industrialised countries, for example through the International Cancer Technology Transfer Fellowships (ICRETT). The Cancer Registry participated in the UICC Virtual Fellowships programme as an expert body providing guidance on the analysis of survival rates from cancer registry data from Sangrur district in India.

Framework Convention Alliance (FCA). The WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is an international treaty framework for tobacco control. The CSF supports the FCTC through membership of the FCA.

International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG) is a network that brings together cancer information services from different countries and organisations. The network maintains a website and produces newsletters. The CSFis a member of the network.

Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (IPAAC). The CSF, assisted by the Cancer Registry, led the cancer prevention and screening component of the EU Health Programme-funded joint action between the Member States and the European Commission in IPAAC (2018-2022), in which the THL was also involved. The project reported on the results of four thematic meetings organised in collaboration with IARC and ECL. A webinar on cancer screening and prevention was also held.

A final conference in December reported the main results of the whole project. In addition, an infographics guide on the governance of cancer screening programmes and policy brief documents on early detection, screening and prevention of cancer were produced for web-based communication. Key outputs included recommendations for the renewal of the European Code against Cancer and actions to promote the early detection of cancer, including cancer screening, at European level. The project reporting period runs until early 2022.