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In 2022, the CSF carried out extensive social advocacy to promote its goals. The social climate was characterised by the war in Ukraine and prevailing uncertainty. The spring was also heavily marked by a strike in the care sector.

It was the last year of the government’s term of office, which was reflected both in the high number of statements by the CSF and the start of advocacy work focused on the elections.

Parliamentary elections. The CSF’s goals in relation to the parliamentary elections were prepared during the spring of 2022 and approved in June 2022 by the working committee of the Board. The goals were discussed with the executive directors of the member associations prior to adoption. Advocacy meetings started in June 2022, wand there was in total 17 election-related meetings with MPs, policy planners and special advisors from a total of eight different parliamentary parties during the year. The CSF’s electoral goals were highlighted throughout the year in various communications contexts. At the end of the year, an election series on the goals was presented on the CSF blog.

SuomiAreena. As part of our election advocacy, we organised a discussion event at the annual public debate forum SuomiAreena together with the University of Helsinki’s Cancer IO project. The event focused on the national cancer strategy. The event, which consisted of experts and decision-makers, was attended by about 100 people and the stream received over 600 views.

Electoral cooperation. We also promoted our electoral goals in collaboration with other organisations. The Network for Non-Communicable Diseases created its own electoral goals, which we were actively involved in preparing. We also participated in the network’s influencer meetings. We established joint lobbying efforts with different groups of organisations on our aims for the national cancer strategy, clinical research and alcohol policy.

Nurses’ strike. The nurses’ strike that started in April raised concerns among cancer patients as appointments were postponed and cancelled. During the strike, we made a number of outputs and gave interviews, stressing the crucial importance of a skilled nursing workforce and calling on parties to safeguard the care of cancer patients. During the strike, we were in contact with hospitals to discuss the impact of the strike on care.

Pharmaceutical policy advocacy. In September, we organised a webinar on the introduction of new cancer medicines, together with the University of Tampere. The webinar focused on the new cancer medicines from the perspective of the health system and pharmaceutical policy. Speakers included Associate Professor Anita Wagner from Harvard University, Eeva Ollila, the CSF’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Miia Turpeinen from the University of Oulu, Annikka Kalliokoski, Editor-in-Chief of Duodecim and Lauri Pelkonen, Director of the Pharmaceutical Pricing Board. The event attracted more than 100 people and aroused a lot of interest. The topic was also discussed in the media.

Tobacco and nicotine policy. Earlier in the year, we filed a complaint with the EU Commission about Finnish and Swedish snus policies, which we believe are in breach of EU law. In the case of Finland, the complaint concerns primarily the sale of snus on passenger ships flying the Finnish flag, and in the case of Sweden, the fact that it allows the sale and targeting of snus on the Finnish market. Unfortunately, the Commission decided in December not to act on the complaint. In addition, the Chief Medical Officer has been a member of the New Nicotine Products Section of the Tobacco and Nicotine Policy Development Group set up in February.

Screening advocacy. New EU cancer screening recommendations were adopted in December 2022. In September, we commented on the draft recommendations with members of the Screening Steering Group. We discussed Finland’s positions on the draft recommendation with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Together with the expert group on colorectal cancer screening, we approached welfare regions, screening officers and screening nurses at the end of the year and reminded them that after a positive screening result, colonoscopy should be arranged without delay.

FICAN collaboration. The traditional FICAN cooperation days were held in April. The event covered the effects of corona on cancer and cancer screening. Regional and national cancer centres were contacted throughout the year to discuss current issues.

Social welfare and healthcare reform and funding for organisations. We followed the preparations for the reform of the social welfare system in the different regions. In the spring, we prepared a description of the services provided by cancer organisations to support the lobbying work of regional cancer societies. The future of organisations will also be affected by the reform of funding for organisations, which will be replaced by state budget funds instead of Veikkaus funds. We contributed to the preparation of this issue by making several contributions.

Rehabilitation advocacy. In the spring, we carried out an extensive survey on patients’ rehabilitation needs and the services they received, together with the Finnish Diabetes Association, the Finnish Heart Association and the Rehabilitation Foundation. The preliminary results of the survey were published in June during Rehabilitation Week and used in our advocacy work. In October, we gave a presentation on the work and functional capacity of cancer patients to the Work Capacity and Rehabilitation Advisory Board of Tela.

Lobbying for access to data by the Cancer Registry. The draft proposal on the use of client data in the social and health care sector could have compromised the ability of the Cancer Registry to collect the necessary data for cancer and screening statistics. We participated in a consultation on the proposal, and also liaised with the drafters and the Special Adviser to the Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services. The draft was improved during preparation.

The Network for Non-Communicable Diseases. In addition to the above-mentioned electoral advocacy, the network of NCDs carried out joint regional electoral advocacy in the early part of the year. In November, the traditional ‘Let’s Talk About Money’ seminar was held in hybrid format. In addition, the Parliamentary Network on NCDs met twice. In the spring, the topic was public diseases and the wellbeing services counties, while in the autumn the network’s electoral goals were explored. In March, a written overview of the organisations’ current advocacy themes was submitted to the Parliamentary Network.

Advocacy outputs. In the autumn, an article by the Secretary General, Chief Medical Officer and Public Relations Officer on regional differences in cancer was published in BestPractice Nordic’s Onkologia / Hematologia magazine. In spring, we published a position paper on protecting children from UV radiation in kindergartens and schoolyards, parks and sports grounds. A World Cancer Day bulletin in February focused on access to care, the financial burden of cancer patients and the quality of palliative and hospice care.

Statements. A total of nine opinions were issued during the year:

  • Statement on the processing of client data in the social and health care sector (for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.
  • Statement on the amendment of the Lotteries Act (to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health).
  • Statement on the proposal on the financing of associations and foundations in the social and health care sector (to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health).
  • Statement on the amendment of the law on social security (to STM)
  • Statement on the draft recommendation on the current treatment of prostate cancer (for Duodecim)
  • Statement on the amendment of the Medicines Act and the Health Insurance Act (to the STM)
  • Statement on the amendment of the soft drinks tax (to the Ministry of Finance)
  • Statement on improving the cost-effectiveness of pharmaceutical care (for the Committee on Social Affairs and Health)
  • Statement on the amendment of the screening regulation (to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health).

Overall management practices

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

During the year, the development of activity-based management systems, in particular for decision making, has taken place. The projects have involved a wide range of staff and external evaluators and developers. Examples include the reform of the financial management and reporting environment, the development of new marketing analytics, and our development projects, which have been promoted through continuous improvement, in particular in cooperation with all cancer organisations.

The overall management system includes joint executive forums between the central organisation and member associations, as well as operational and financial planning processes to ensure the implementation of a common strategy. Joint interdisciplinary steering groups have also been set up for the joint development of activities and services. The CSF’s management teams ensure that issues of operational relevance are discussed jointly.

The development of member organisation collaboration as part of the management system is an essential part of the implementation of the plans and strategy. The joint strategy will strengthen the CSF’s activities and objectives as a stronger national player in all branches of cancer work. The strategic development programmes prepared during 2020 will be a concrete plan at organisational level, which will be implemented as projects during the strategy period. The strategic development programmes are described in a separate section of this report.

The Proppu project model was used to strengthen the project model in the CSF. The observations, findings and development needs of the different projects were translated into guidelines and practices. The project office also trained new project managers and project teams in all aspects of project management and supported project managers in areas such as process issues, filling in document templates and the use of various tools.

The project office approved the project plan, risks and project classification for all projects, as well as the final report, after approval by the project steering group. Another important task of the project office is the continuous development of the project model. During 2022, the role descriptions, in particular for project activities, were refined. The aim is that all project activities of the CSFs will implement the designed standard operating model, which is easy to implement and serves as a systematic tool for project planning management and project implementation.

Development programmes and projects started in 2022

Five development programmes form the core of the cancer organisations’ strategy:

  • 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 the owner, under whose guidance the projects in the development programme have been defined and prepared. The preparation process resulted in proposals for 24 different projects to be implemented during the strategy period 2021-2025.

In 2022, the project plan for three projects was approved, with two of the projects to be implemented in the main in 2023. In addition, Radar, which is planned to be implemented over five years, will continue its work according to the plan defined for each year.

Strategic development of health promotion. The aim of the project was to prioritise the priorities and activities of the CSF’s health promotion work and to draw up an action plan for the joint health promotion of the CSF and its member associations for 2023-2025 based on the contents of the policy paper.

The project sought to harmonise and clarify the work of the CSF’s health promotion activities by basing them on common priorities and practices. The effectiveness of health promotion work will be improved, covering health promotion for both people without cancer and people with cancer. In addition, the aim was to define roles and structures for collaboration and to clarify common ways of working to facilitate the work, create a common structure, increase health promotion skills and strengthen the contribution of health promotion to client work in cancer organisations.

The project outputs were originally scheduled for completion in mid-December, but took longer to complete than anticipated, so the current assessment is for the end of February 2023 .

Development of evaluation and indicators. The project plan was approved in mid-2022, but the actual implementation of the project will start in January 2023. In 2022, a study was carried out on the scope and focus of the project and a preliminary assessment of the project content, needs and implementation was conducted with the partner Rehabilitation Foundation. The aim of the project is to develop common evaluation practices and indicators for the CSF to better demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of our work. The project will strengthen cooperation within the CSF and reduce the workload by introducing a common model for evaluation and measurement.

In particular, the project focuses on improving the evaluation of support worker activities. This will be done through workshops facilitated by the Rehabilitation Foundation, resulting in a concrete model for measuring, analysing results and using them in the future. Based on the results and outputs of the pilot, a standardised evaluation model will be developed for cancer organisations.

Branding and marketing of psychosocial support and services. The project plan was approved in 2022, but the actual implementation of the project starts in 2023, with the aim of increasing the visibility and awareness of the CSF’s psychosocial support (professional support) services between 2023 and 2025. The services include the CSF’s nationwide support and counselling services, individual support consultations with member associations (professional/counselling therapists) and goal-oriented group activities led by professionals.

The aim is to harmonise the content of psychosocial support services and improve referrals by creating a brand for the services and a marketing communications plan and materials. The new service brand is intended to address the problem of recognition of the CSF due to its multiple organisational brands.

The development of research and expert services for the Cancer Registry. The aim of the project was to develop a customer and target group oriented approach to cancer burden monitoring. In 2022, the project produced new thematic statistics on cancer burden by region and cancer-specific data boxes, providing key statistical information in an easily understandable and browsable format. A web browser-readable html version of the Cancer 2020 report was developed alongside the PDF version.

The development programme also included the preparation of thematic statistics on cancer in working age and plans to update the content and technical features of the applications for cancer and screening statistics. Data on TNM-classified cancer prevalence and Gleason scores for prostate cancer were prepared for statistical production using a text mining algorithm.

Development of more coherent communications work. The aim of the project is to strengthen the visibility of the organisation and increase the effectiveness of its communications. The project started in 2021 and was completed in summer 2022. In 2022, the project created communications content strategies for 16 member associations, piloted a common annual communication calendar for the whole organisation and developed internal cooperation processes, including new practices for the organisation’s communication network. The roll-out of the project outputs started in 2022 and will continue in 2023.

Organisational activities and Finnish Cancer Foundation support to member associations

Supporting intra-organisational cooperation and common approaches within the CSF is a key element of its work. The development of organisational activities is strongly linked to the projects of the development programmes for the strategy period 2021-25. In addition to the new cooperation projects that will be launched, there will be other cooperation and knowledge sharing.

The combined membership of the 18 member associations of the CSF continued to decrease, and at the end of 2022 it stood at around 102 570.

The Organising Committee and the Executive Directors’ meeting. The Organising Committee and the regular Executive Directors’ meetings play a key role in the development and monitoring of the CSF’s work. The most important issues in this respect are discussed in both meetings. The Organising Committee, appointed by the CSF Board, supports the Board in its decision-making. Its task is to monitor the implementation of the development programme and to take initiatives based on it. Each member association is represented in turn on the Organising Committee, chaired in 2022 by Board member Annikki Thodén. The Organising Committee met five times during the year to discuss, among other things, the CSF’s advocacy activities, the programme of the Cancer Society Days and the progress of the development programme projects.

The Executive Committee is a forum for interaction, coordination and cooperation between the organisation’s key officers. Six Executive Directors’ meetings were held during the year, in addition to regular remote meetings of the Executive Directors every two weeks or so. The meetings were chaired by Suvi Jolkkonen, Executive Director of the North Karelia Cancer Association, and Seppo Rajaniemi, Executive Director of the North Finland Cancer Association. The meetings of the Executive Directors play an important role in developing activities and planning cooperation. They also serve as a forum for peer-to-peer discussion among the Executive Directors.

The organisation’s Swedish language activities were discussed in two separate Executive Directors’ meetings. The Ostrobothnian Cancer Association was responsible for the national coordination of Swedish-language activities.

Cancer Society Days. Every year, the Cancer Society Days bring together CSF staff and elected officials to meet each other and discuss topical issues concerning the organisation. The Cancer Society of Southwest Finland arranged the Cancer Society days in cooperation with the CSF. The topics discussed included the future of funding for organisations, the positioning of organisations in the social welfare reform, support for cancer patients and their relatives, and reliable information and misconceptions.

Support for cancer work. The Cancer Foundation’s annual support to the member organisations of the Finnish Cancer Society is already an established way of providing practical advice and support to patients and their relatives. The support for cancer work is mainly targeted at the recruitment of counsellors and is applied for annually. Each year, the Cancer Foundation contributes more than €600 000 to the activities. Funding for cancer work is channelled through the Pink Ribbon campaign and the Cancer Foundation’s operating fund.

One of the Cancer Foundation’s goals is to enable equal access to cancer services throughout Finland. Support for cancer work has focused particularly on basic activity, and it will continue to have a strong role in supporting public social services. Cancer support focuses on psychosocial support, counselling and information, among other things, which are difficult to obtain comprehensively from the public health sector.

The effectiveness of the support is measured through annual reporting, including the number of events or patient encounters, and qualitatively through client surveys. Aid activities are reported as part of the annual report and accounts of the member organisation.

An evaluation project on cancer support was launched during the year, in collaboration with the Rehabilitation Foundation, to examine the use, needs, efficiency and effectiveness of the funding provided and to develop it further to serve local needs. The development work started at the end of 2022 and continues during 2023. The process will involve a wide range of staff from regional and patient organisations.

Joint statistics. Joint statistics among cancer organisations will be further developed and common statistical practices were introduced in 2022 to enable joint data collection.

Human resources

Objectives. As an employer, the aim of the CSF is that staff experience job satisfaction, are committed and motivated, and receive adequate and timely support for their work and skills development. We invest in staff development and are a training-friendly workplace. It is important to us that people feel comfortable with us and recommend us as an employer. In 2022, we will have a total of 94 person-years in the CSF central office.

Flexible working and working practices. As the pandemic eased, we continued to work mainly remotely. We recognise, and the results of our well-being survey confirmed, that the predominant teleworking is reflected in a lack of a sense of community. It also makes it more difficult to work with managers. These are issues that need to be further addressed in 2023. Hybrid and teleworking create new challenges for working, for developing activities and, in particular, for a sense of community. The results will challenge management and front-line staff to design new management practices.

During the period under review, a review of the current state of the HR programme was completed, which will be used to set out development priorities for the coming years. At the end of the year, it was decided to commission a work environment survey as a basis for identifying new premises.

During the period, HR systems were strongly developed as part of the overall reform of the financial system. Systems were integrated and automated and operational processes were simplified. At the same time, the division of labour and the flow of information between the different functions relating to human resources and managerial staff were improved. Forums for supervisory staff met regularly in Teams meetings to share experiences and practices and to develop the work of the organisation’s managerial work.

Great Place to Work. In the autumn of 2022, we took part in the GPTW – Finland’s Best Workplaces – survey, which will be used to further develop the management culture and practices of managerial work. This was the third survey conducted within this framework. The results of the staff survey were received in December 2022, showing that 65% of the respondents considered our workplace to be either very good or good, which is why we continued to receive the GPTW certificate as an indication of good workplace practices. In particular, staff value the relevance of our work, flexibility in how we carry out our work and employee benefits. In the future, the results will be used to develop HR performance indicators and to strengthen the CSF’s employer image.

The reorganisation of the Cancer Registry. The aim of the reform was to improve synergies between key functions in cancer burden and cancer screening research, data flows and data production. In 2022, a new Director of Research Director, a new Research Manager, and Cervical and Colorectal Cancer Screening Development Managers started.

Data management, data protection and Security

Data management aims to improve the efficiency of operations and ensure the reliability of the ICT infrastructure and services. These aims were furthered by moving to cloud computing, improving the resilience of the internal network and changes to serve the decoupling of the Finnish Cancer Registry from the rest of the network, including possible future migration.

Common ERP system for member associations (Järkkäri). Statistical improvements were made to the ERP, the membership counting processes and technical platform were upgraded and new features were introduced. The IT department of the CSF’s central organisation has the main responsibility for the renewal of the processes and for organising the development and implementation of the system.

The Cancer Registry’s data system project started production use of the operational quality assurance application for mass screening in early summer 2022, which allows for the viewing of uterine and colorectal cancer screening data and the completion of uterine follow-up data. Data from the Hilmo treatment notification system and the Cancer Registry can also be used to complete follow-up examination data. In addition, the reform of the data models for mass screening and cancer registration has been implemented and the implementation of the SNOMED CT pathology classification of findings, which is to be introduced in Finland, has been taken forward and preparations have been made for its deployment at the Cancer Registry.

Data protection and security. The CSF is subject to the information security requirements of the state administration authorities (Act on Information Management in Public Administration (906/2019) and VAHTI guidelines). Personal data is processed in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (679/2016) and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018), as well as the specific data protection provisions applicable to the CSF’s activities. Changes in legislation are actively monitored.

The CSF and its employees are jointly responsible for data security. Data protection and security are handled by a data protection officer, and data security manager, a technical data security consultant and an data security group dealing with data protection and data security issues.

The data protection officer and the head data security officer briefed 21 new employees on data protection and data security with updated materials. Security training was provided to all staff and application developers. Data protection guidelines were produced and distributed to all staff and researchers. The obligations imposed by the General Data Protection Regulation were also implemented by continuing to inform data subjects of their rights and the processing of their personal data in personal files, and by completing explanatory notes on the processing of personal data. The security breach notification form was updated and a security breach notification event was organised for staff. Data protection agreements were concluded for personal data processing activities outsourced to subcontractors. Member associations were advised on data protection issues.

The fifth data statement of the Cancer Registry was published. Preparations were made for the implementation of a secure environment in compliance with the data licensing authority’s order.

Technical security. The migration to SDN (software-defined networking) was completed. At the same time, the Cancer Registry’s functions were decoupled from the rest of the network. A number of changes to the internal network are aimed at preventing malware from operating or gaining access to systems in advance. Existing security threats were addressed by changes to the systems.

Finance and administration

2022 continued to be a year of financial reform. The introduction and implementation of the new financial environment has been a major effort and change in the way financial work is done. Work will continue in 2023, in particular to strengthen skills, not only in finance, but also across operations. The new financial environment will allow for the provision of multi-business and support services to member organisations. Centralised service operations will be organised during 2023, but during the financial year significant planning of service operations took place, such as in terms of financial processes, division of responsibilities and service models.

The new system solution includes the entire financial management models, financial processes, reporting tools, payment transactions and invoicing. The financial management system upgrade was accompanied by other system upgrades (such as the fundraising client management system and the Järkkäri ERP system). During the year, the practical centralised financial services model was promoted by launching a pilot service delivery to one member organisation. There were also some retirements of financial services staff and we recruited a new payroll officer. In addition, following the reform of the finance system, we recruited a temporary financial expert to ensure the smooth running of the project. As part of the previous reform, the HR systems already in place in the CSF were also upgraded. These were integrated into the overall system, with increased automation. The aim is to ensure the accuracy and quality of information flows and to achieve clearer and more transparent processes for finance and other support functions. This has meant progress in improving the predictability of the economy and the systematisation of forecasts into operational activities.

Developing operations and division of labour. The development and clarification of the internal functioning and division of labour within cancer organisations is a specific objective of the support functions. The aim of this joint strategic development programme of the Cancer Organisations is to start work and mapping on the financial themes, but also to identify other activities where cost savings and synergies can clearly be found from an operational development perspective.

During the financial year, training sessions on financial and HR reforms have been organised for staff and the finance team. The internal division of labour within the finance team has also been mapped, refined and clarified in parallel with the reform. This work has been supported by the mapping of processes and work instructions.

Financial development. CSF funding is partly dependent on the development of the national economy. It was foreseeable that funding would change, especially for STEA-funded activities and for the activities of the Cancer Registry. During the period under review, the THL government funding allocated to the activities of the Cancer Registry was permanently increased to more than EUR 1 million. The additional funding will be allocated to mass screening and screening activities and their development and quality work. The share of STEA funding seems stable for the foreseeable future. However, the overall financial performance for the financial year was good and the funding limits for the activities remained at their planned levels. Strategic financial management and the planning and monitoring of revenue and operational funding were strengthened through a long-term financial plan. This reviews the evolution of activities and financing over a five-year period. The plan contributes to proactive decision-making and policy decisions to develop and secure funding frameworks for the CSF overall.


Objectives and results. In 2022, the Cancer Foundation aimed to raise €13 million in donations and corporate agreements, of which €4 million was estimated to come from bequests. As in the previous year, the fundraising priorities were bequests, the Pink Ribbon Collection and monthly investments. The Cancer Foundation’s fundraising income totalled €34.2 million, of which €23 million was from bequests. Gross fundraising income increased by 90% compared to the previous year due to an exceptional legacy income. Total administrative and fundraising expenses were 17% (18% in 2021), reinforcing the Cancer 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 Cancer Foundation had a total of 33 500 monthly donors at the end of the year. The main means were an annual TV programme and strong online and telemarketing. The in-house telemarketing team continued to work alongside an external telemarketing company. Marketing activities were carried out online and in print to attract new legacy donations.

Marketing. With the introduction of the new customer relationship management system, a marketing automation tool, Marketing Cloud, was introduced. It allows marketing content 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 in the future. In 2022, the Marketing Cloud will specifically serve retail donor engagement through automation chains.

The Cancer Foundation’s competitive positioning began with brand advertising, when the Cancer Foundation commissioned the first multi-year campaign materials in its history. The aim of brand advertising is not only to promote the desired brand attributes, but also to engage existing donors and bring new donors to the beginning of the donor journey.

Pink ribbon. The 2022 Pink Ribbon and Bracelet was designed by Maria Veitola. The overarching theme of the collection campaign was the slogan “This moment is ours”. For the third year in a row, the proceeds of the Pink Ribbon collection supported research into all cancers, with the research theme chosen to be malignant cancers. The fundraising started with a press conference at the Musiikkitalo concert hall, which was streamed for the third year running via the Pink Ribbon website. The collection campaign took place in October and ended with the announcement of the results in February the following year. The marketing and communication of the results event focused on thanking donors, partners and volunteers. A number of public figures, experts by experience and cancer researchers participated in the fundraising. The campaign’s goal was to raise €3.7 million for domestic research, and the Pink Ribbon collection raised a record €5 million.

Christmas collection. The last collection of the year, the Christmas collection, raised funds for families in need of financial support who have been affected by cancer. The number of applications for assistance has increased tenfold in ten years, and the Cancer Foundation’s Christmas collection addressed this growing problem. The Christmas collection was attended not only by experts in the field, but also by celebrity guests Heidi Willman, Arttu Wiskari and Erin.

Training and courses. Fundraising is a highly competitive field and the Cancer Foundation needs to invest in maintaining professional skills. During the year, the fundraising team participated in free and paid training and fundraising courses at home and abroad.


The aim of the CSF’s communications work is to provide information and explain its services in a way that is as easy to find as possible and that the communication content supports the CSF’s target groups in different life situations and with different information needs.

The Communications Unit is responsible for the internal and external communication, branding and reputation of the association. It also carries out the communication of the different functions of the central office – health services, health promotion and the Finnish Cancer Registry – in cooperation with experts from the functions.

There is a wide range of communication tools and channels. In 2022, the communication channels included a dedicated website, intranet, social media channels, videos, the Cancer magazine, newsletters and printed materials. In addition, visibility was sought through purchased media space with multi-channel campaigns.

Boosting awareness and branding. The CSF’s consistent visual conspicuousness on social media was boosted by the introduction of a common set of social media templates for the organisation. Common brand images for the CSF supported a coherent visual approach. The organisation’s experts received media training to support staff communications. An external newsletter, published 11 times a year, was also used to reinforce awareness. Almost 1,000 people subscribed to the newsletter.

Deepening cleint understanding. A key theme for communication development in 2022 was to better define target audiences and deepen customer understanding.

For the conceptualisation of the All About Cancer website, a focus group of five people with cancer and their loved ones was set up to test a prototype concept. The user understanding was compiled into a service pathway map based on the stages of the disease, which describes the target groups’ experiences and needs at different stages of the disease.

The importance of the organisation’s social media communication was explored through a focus group survey. 24 people responded. The survey showed, among other things, that all respondents considered the organisation’s communication to be reliable. 84% of respondents felt that the organisation’s communication helped them to cope better with the difficult life situation caused by cancer. The focus group surveys will be continued and expanded both on social media and on the website.

The client perspective was also taken into account by Cancer magazine. Four times a year, the magazine’s readers’ panel evaluates the magazine’s layout and content and comes up with ideas for new content. The panel includes 35 readers.

Developing more coherent communications. The aim of the project was to raise the profile of the organisation and increase the effectiveness of its communication. The project started in 2021 and was completed in summer 2022. During 2022, the project developed communication content strategies for member associations and piloted a common annual communication calendar for the organisation. Internal cooperation took a leap forward as the national communication network started to plan the organisation’s common communications work. The project’s outputs will be translated into everyday work starting in 2022 and continuing the following year.

Campaign communications. The CSF ran the Come Good Poop campaign in spring 2022 to raise awareness about the new colorectal cancer screening programme. The campaign also encouraged men and women aged 60-64 to participate in screening. It highlighted the ease of performing screening at home. The campaign video was shown on the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s (Yle) TV1 during week 20 and on the Yle public service information spot, but the main advertising focused on Facebook and Instagram, where the aim was to reach viewers and direct visitors to the website with graphic ads. Graphic ads were also used for online display advertising. More than 300 000 people started watching the video, of which 140 000 watched a quarter of the video and 62 000 watched it in full. Just over 7 000 clicks were generated by the image ads. After good results, the campaign was repeated in the autumn of 2022 to increase participation, with even better results. More than 460,000 users started watching the video, of which more than 210,000 watched a quarter of the video and 95,000 watched it all. The image ads attracted just over 8 500 clicks.

On World Cancer Day on 4 February, the CSF’s social media channels were used to promote equality for cancer patients and the right of all cancer patients to the best possible care. During European Cancer Week in May, the theme was sun protection.

Websites. The main external online media are the All about cancer, Cancer organisations, Without cancer and Finnish Cancer Registry websites. The Communications Unit is responsible for their updating, analytics, development and marketing. In a highly competitive online environment, there are five key elements in the development of the organisation’s websites: deepening client understanding, search engine optimisation, monitoring analytics, conversion optimisation and increasing the use of social media and blogs.

The All about Cancer, CSF and Free from Cancer websites provide up-to-date information on cancer prevention, cancer, cancer survivorship and the services of the CSF. The aim is to help people with cancer and their loved ones to cope with a difficult life situation and to support anyone interested in their own health to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The Finnish Cancer Registry website offers a wide range of research and information content for different target groups. For the general public, the site provides cancer statistics and their interpretation, structured in a clear and understandable way. The site also communicates the Finnish cancer burden. For researchers and experts, the site communicates research data. The media can find new and already processed cancer information on the site.

The most important development in online communication in 2022 was the implementation of the first phase of the All About Cancer website redesign. This included the redesign of the site and the tendering process for a technical partner. The redesigned site will be launched in 2023.

The new concept will be based on the themes of people-centredness and focus on the target group. In the future, the site’s content and the organisation’s services will be personalised for visitors according to their own life situation. The content of the site will be made more plain-language and people-oriented, while maintaining the reliability and factual nature of the information. The concept is guided by a visual simplicity that makes it easier to find and understand information.

The Finnish version of the All about Cancer website had around 876 000 users (1 208 000 in 2021). The Swedish website had around 54 000 users and the English website around 7 000. In the previous year, the Swedish website had around 100 500 users and the English website 31 400. The most popular section of the site continued to be on cancer. The site is part of the Google for Organisations programme, which provides the association with a monthly advertising budget of $10,000 for Google marketing.

The Finnish-language version of the CSF’s website had around 75 000 visitors a year (178 000 in 2021). The Swedish and English pages had a total of around 23 000 visitors. The Free from Cancer website is aimed at people interested in their own health and cancer prevention. The Finnish-language site had around 75 000 visitors during the year (108 000 in 2021). The decrease in the number of visitors to the sites is linked, among other things, to increased competition in search engine marketing and the addition of cookie surveys to the sites.
The Finnish Cancer Registry website had around 64 000 users in 2022 (76 200 in 2021). The English version had around 3,800 users and the Swedish version around 1,700. The most popular content on the site includes information pages on cancer screenings, cancer and screening statistics and an app where visitors can search for different cancer statistics themselves.

Social media. The Communications Unit is responsible for two Facebook channels and the organisation’s LinkedIn channel. The CSF’s Facebook page had 12 806 followers at the end of 2022 (up from 12 202 in 2021). The LinkedIn channel had 875 followers at the end of the year (518 followers in 2021). LinkedIn communications focus on organisational and employer brand themes, while Facebook channels publish content that supports cancer patients and their loved ones, as well as anyone interested in their own health.

The two Twitter accounts are coordinated by the cancer organisations’ communications. The CSF’s account publishes the organisation’s current affairs and newsletters. The account is followed by 3106 people (up from 2 975 in 2021). The Finnish Cancer Registry’s account focuses mainly on the scientific communication of the Cancer Registry. The account is followed by 662 people (606 in 2021). The CSF’s Instagram channel shares content related to health promotion and current issues of the CSF, among other things. The Instagram channel had 2,152 followers at the end of 2022 (1,950 in 2021). The organisation also has a YouTube channel with 1,775 subscribers (1,640 in 2021).

Media communications. The CSF’s media communication provides information on cancer treatment and prevention, the organisation’s services and statistics and research from the Finnish Cancer Registry. In addition, media communication aims to influence, for example, health-related legislation. In 2022, media visibility was generated by topics such as cancer research and prognosis, cancer screening and cancer risk factors. The Communications Unit published 30 press releases. Some of the releases were also published as online news and shared via social media. The Communications Unit continuously monitors the visibility of the CSF in the media. In addition to traditional media, social media and blogs are analysed.

Cancer magazine. The CSF’s magazine is the most important of the printed communications products. In 2022, Cancer magazine was published four times. The magazine has a circulation of almost 90 550. It was mailed to members of the CSF’s member associations and to subscribers. A Swedish-language supplement was published in Cancer magazine and was available for subscription. Nearly 4 300 copies of the Swedish supplement were mailed. The magazine’s steering committee met twice during the year.

The magazine has a digital version in Finnish and Swedish on the All about cancer website. In 2022, the magazine celebrated its 45th anniversary, which was marked by highlighting selected news stories from the early years of the magazine.

Supporting communications among member associations. Communication among member associations was supported through the development of a coherent communications throughout the CSF. Sixteen communications content strategy workshops were held with member associations, leading to the development of specific content strategies to help them make their communications more relevant to their target audiences. The national communications network, which met monthly in Teams, also supported integrated communications. The Communications Unit held two training days for the network in 2022 on topics such as intranet news production, Facebook advertising and using the Canva tool.

Internal communications. The Communications Unit is responsible for developing the joint intranet of the CSF and staff training. In 2022, the intranet was migrated to a new technical platform and its content was renewed. Content producers were trained to use the new system. The Communications Unit organised two training sessions for staff on the new features of Teams, in particular the Teams shared channels, and carried out two staff surveys to assess the effectiveness of internal communications. These revealed, among other things, that for central office staff the common Teams channels are the main channel for information on internal matters and that the division of labour between Teams and intranet needs to be further clarified and clearer guidance provided on the use of the different channels.

The Cancer Foundation collaborates with the CSF’s Communications Unit in producing and publishing innovative and timely scientific communications. The activities of the Finnish Cancer Registry, the CSF’s own research institute, will be used as part of the Cancer Foundation’s communications, and recognition of epidemiological research will be increased.

The Cancer Foundation’s communications work will support the foundation’s strategic objectives and increase its visibility and reputation. The Cancer Foundation’s brand was also strengthened through strong and systematic donor communications. In 2022, the focus was on core donor communications and campaign communications supporting fundraising, as well as strong media visibility. The media work also drew on the expertise of the CSF’s specialists. The aim is to continue to maintain and strengthen the Cancer Foundation’s role as the preferred non-profit destination and partner for years to come.

In 2022, the Cancer Foundation published 19 media releases and organised 2 press conferences: the Pink Ribbon Press and the TTK Press (in cooperation with MTV). The Cancer Foundation had 265 media hits, with a reach of €210 million. The foundation’s media hits increased by 26.8% compared to the previous year (2021). The visibility of the Pink Ribbon campaign in earned media increased by 13% compared to the previous year. The Pink Ribbon was mentioned in 224 articles during the campaign in autumn 2022.

Information about research grants and how to apply for them, as well as the online application process, is on the Cancer Foundation’s website. Researchers will continue to be more engaged in reporting the results of their work and will be featured in the Journey of Exploration concept materials in the Foundation’s communications. Online and social media communications will continue to develop analytics-based activities and planning to engage and grow followers.

Awards and prizes

The CSF has a number of ways to pay tribute to those who have made a significant contribution to cancer prevention, cancer treatment and care and the work of the CSF.

Cancer control medals come in three categories (gold, silver and bronze) and are awarded annually on the recommendation of member associations and the CSF Central Office. The Medals Committee, elected by the CSF Council for a two-year term, considers the nominations received in April and makes a proposal to the Council’s spring meeting. The list of award winners for 2022 is included at the end of the annual report.

The Cancer Foundation’s Oncologist of the Year and Oncology Nurse of the Year awards are presented annually. The prize is worth EUR 5 000. The Oncologist of the Year Award was given to Siru Mäkelä, MD, Cancer Specialist, HUS Cancer Centre, and the Oncology Nurse of the Year Award to Elina Kiviniemi, RN, Tampere University Hospital.

Cancer Foundation Finland Prize

The Cancer Foundation Finland Prize, awarded every 3-5 years, was awarded in 2022 to Professor Aleyamma Mathew, Director of the Thiruvananthapuram Regional Cancer Centre in India. The prize is worth €5 000.
The prize aims to support and encourage Indians in the development of their cancer registries and research based on them, and to strengthen the decades-long bond between the Cancer Foundation and Indian cancer registries.

Professor Mathew has been actively involved in the development of the Indian cancer registry network for over 30 years. He has been involved as a cancer epidemiologist with the Asia-Oceania Region Cancer Prevention Organization and has been a visiting scientist at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Mathew completed his PhD in Finland with the support of the Finnish Cancer Society.

International activities

Participation in international activities has two main aims: to contribute to the fight against cancer through international organisations and networks, and 2 peer learning.

Nordic Cancer Union (NCU). 2022 saw the continuation of Finland’s three-year presidency of the Nordic Cancer Union (NCU), which began the previous year. Juha Pekka Turunen, the new CSF Secretary General of the, took over as the new Chair. During the second year of the term, the CSF organised three NCU Board meetings (the first one virtually due to the limitations of the coronavirus pandemic and the June and November meetings in Helsinki).

The CSF was fully responsible for the implementation of the NCU research funding application process and the management of the funding. In 2022, the NCU decided to fund 10 joint Nordic research projects with a total of €750,000. One decision was taken on strategic projects: a 3-year funding for the project “NCU Common Actions for the Prevention of Overweight and obesity among Children – NCU-CAPOC”. The NCU Board decided to increase its annual research funding by €200,000 starting from 2023. An internal NCU working group was launched to improve the effectiveness of the funding. In addition, the Board meetings were used to exchange experiences and hear presentations on cancer from the cancer organisations’ own experts and from national and international visitors.

Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL) is an association of national cancer organisations with 30 member organisations from 25 European countries. Based in Brussels, ECL lobbies the European Commission and the European Parliament, particularly in the field of cancer. 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 42nd annual meeting took place in Cyprus in November

WHO International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC): Active scientific and cancer-related cooperation with the Lyon-based IARC. Sirpa Heinävaara, Research Director of the Finnish Cancer Registry, was the Finnish representative on the IARC Scientific Council in 2022.

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). UICC organised the World Cancer Congress in Geneva in October 2022.

Framework Convention Alliance (FCA). The implementation of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) is an international treaty system aimed at restricting the use of tobacco products. The CSF supports the FCTC through membership of the FCA.

International Cancer Information Service Group (ICISG). This is a network that brings together cancer information services from different countries and organisations to develop their activities. The network maintains a website and produces newsletters. ICISG was founded in 1996 and has around 70 member associations. The Finnish Cancer Society is 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 THL Finland was also involved. The project reported on the results of four thematic meetings organised in collaboration with IARC and ECL. The final conference in December 2021 reported the main results of the whole project. In addition, an infographics guide for cancer screening programme steering structures and policy brief documents on early detection, screening and prevention of cancers were produced for web-based communication. Key outputs included recommendations to reform the European cancer guidelines: 1) the European Code against Cancer and 2) actions to promote early detection of cancer, including cancer screening, at European level. The final report of the project was completed in early 2022.

Bumper EU4Health project. The Bumper project, coordinated by the Association of European Cancer Leagues (ECL), started in late 2022. Cancer organisations are one of the project partners. The project will develop a mobile app for cancer prevention for EU citizens to raise awareness and promote the implementation of the European Recommendations on Cancer Prevention. The project will run for two years. The CSF is involved in the design and piloting of the app and its dissemination in Finland.