1970-2000 The largest separate unit

Mortality rate in cancer exceeds tuberculosis mortality rate

Cancer began to receive more attention in the 1930s, because at that time cancer morbidity and mortality were on the rise. In Finland the mortality rate in cancer overtook tuberculosis mortality rate at the end of the 1940s. The Finnish Cancer Registry was founded in 1952, after which it was possible to acquire information on the extent of the cancer problem. In 2010 WHO reported that cancer had become the most common cause of death worldwide.

In the course of a hundred years cancer treatment outcomes have radically changed. At the beginning of the 1900s very few people survived cancer and according to the statistics, only 20 % of cancer patients survived in the 1950s. In 2007 the cancer treatment outcomes in Finland were on the top level in Europe – Finland was among the three leading countries. The five-year survival rate for women is 65% and over 50 % for men.

The focus of anti-cancer activities have developed in the following way: the report of the anti-cancer committee dating from 1954 mentioned enlightenment, central hospitals/radiation therapy clinics, and education. The general action plan of anti-cancer campaign that was adopted in 1975 listed early diagnostics, permanent screening programs, and interdisciplinary co-operation with respect to implementation of both palliative and curative care. In 1993 the development program for cancer treatment emphasized the development of the regional health care systems, treatment schemes and quality control.

The objectives of the anti-cancer program of the responsibility area of the Tampere University Hospital in 1996-2000 included the increase of screening, the continuous development of regional health care systems, the development and introduction of disease-oriented treatment plans, the development of special diagnostics, the maintenance of patient care resources and the development of patient care, a regional cancer patient treatment register, and the development of cancer research.

Cancer is a disease which arises when abnormal cells divide without control and are able to invade other tissues. The uncontrollable growth of cancer cells leads to the destruction of the host (patient) if untreated. Effective therapy is essential when cancer first presents, because there exists no curative treatment for most renewed or spread cancer cases. Tumors can be removed surgically, but radiation therapy and the medical treatment of cancer destroy cancer cells more effectively.