HomeCancer Society of Finland / Finnish Cancer Registry
Cancer Society of Finland / Finnish Cancer Registry Profile Page
Cancer Society of Finland / Finnish Cancer Registry

Contact Info

Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research
Unioninkatu 22
Prof. Eero Pukkala


Registration area

The Finnish Cancer Registry covers all of Finland, which is bordered to the north by Norway, to the east by the Russian Federation, to the west by Sweden and the Gulf of Bothnia, and to the south by the Gulf of Finland. The average altitude is 150 m. Finland is located within the coniferous forest zone and has 33 615 km2 of inland water. In 2005, the population of Finland was 5.2 million. The life expectancy at birth is 76.7 years for males and 83.2 years for females.

Cancer care facilities

Finland is divided into 22 health care districts, five of which have university teaching hospitals. Cancer diagnosis and treatment is only partly centralized; cancer surgery is provided in all major hospitals and many smaller clinics. Eleven hospitals have a radiotherapy unit.

Registry structure and methods

The registry was established in 1952 as an initiative of the Cancer Society of Finland. Data on newly diagnosed cancer cases have been collected since 1953. The principal sources of information on cancer cases are physicians, hospitals, pathology laboratories, and death certificates from Statistics Finland. Cancer reporting has been mandatory since 1961. When necessary, the registry sends requests to notifiers to ensure the accuracy of information about patient identity, primary site, and date of diagnosis. Coding is performed or supervised by a physician. Case identification is based on the personal identification number used in Finland since 1967. This also enables accurate follow-up of cancer patients for death through official sources. In addition to continuous quality control procedures, formal evaluations are also carried out.

Interpreting the results

Nationwide screening programmes for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers are coordinated, monitored, and evaluated by the Mass Screening Registry, which is part of the Finnish Cancer Registry. Opportunistic prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing is very common.

Use of the data

The registry produces routine statistics and data for planning and health education purposes. It is also actively engaged in research on cancer epidemiology, biometrics, and cancer patient survival. The registry provides material for clinical research and pathology studies, and follow-up data on cancer patients.


This tab contains a basic no-frills image Gallery for CB profiles

No Items published in this profile gallery



Standard Tables

Our partners

120507 01b LOGO X3





This website was developed and is hosted at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
Go to top