1970-2000 The largest separate unit
To bring the advances made in cancer treatment into focus we can take breast cancer as an example. In the beginning cancer patients had hardly any chances of surviving. The old therapy in the 20th century involved the surgical removal of the breast. The patient might have recovered, but with worse outcomes than in the 21st century, and the quality of life was not the same as before. Thanks to the modern organ-saving operations, the outcome is also aesthetically good. The developmental steps were also reflected in the shift of the name when the radiation therapy unit changed its name into the oncology clinic in 1991.
When the radiation therapy unit started in the 1970s, Pikonlinna had one ward, about a dozen employees, a couple of doctors, one nuclear physicist and one radiotherapy machine at its disposal. After the operations were transferred to the central hospital the cancer clinic is nowadays located in the Radius building. In 2011 the department’s staff numbered 154 and treated approximately 7,000 individual patients in 2010. Today there are five radiotherapy machines.