Saturday 9/18/21
HEALTH

Finland to expand colorectal and cervical cancer screening

Colorectal cancer screening will be introduced in stages as a nationwide service
Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Hanna Sarkkinen. Photo: Foreigner.fi.
Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Hanna Sarkkinen. Photo: Foreigner.fi.

The Finnish government wants to improve the prevention of some types of cancer.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, screening for colorectal cancer will be made nationwide. Screening for cervical cancer, too, will be expanded.

For this purpose, the Government amended the Decree on Screenings on Thursday 12 August. The amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2022.

Colorectal cancer screening will be introduced in stages as a nationwide service for people aged 56–74 years. Screening will take place every two years.

In 2022, nationwide screening for colorectal cancer will be introduced among men and women aged 60–68 years. Screening will be expanded by age group, and all 56–74-year-olds will be covered in 2031.

Colorectal cancer screening is widely used in Europe, and the EU recommends Member States to organise it. Finland has piloted colorectal cancer screening in twelve municipalities over the past two years.

Cervical cancer

The amendment will expand screening for cervical cancer to cover 30–65-year-olds. Now, most municipalities organise screening only for 30–60-year-olds.

The Government Decree will give all 65-year-old women access to cervical cancer screening regardless of their place of residence.

Cancer screening can help detect precursors or early stages of cancer.

"There is clear evidence of the effectiveness of screening for cervical cancer and colorectal cancer," the Health Ministry says.

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