The Cancer Society of Finland comprises twelve regional cancer societies and six national patient organisations. There are total of fifty advice nurses within CIS nationwide.
National advice service in Helsinki is available from anywhere in the country. People can get advice by calling, e-mailing and by online chat. National advice service also provides genetic counseling.
In collaboration with Helsinki University Central Hospital`s Pain Clinic there is a Cancer pain hotline which provides support on matters of cancer pain therapy. Also next of kin can call and ask for guidance in issues related to pain therapy.
Cancer Society’s national benefit advice service provides financial advice by social workers. It is shown to be important because long periods in sick leave will affect radically to the livelihood of the cancer patient.
Live chat has proven to be a popular way to communicate with patients as well as their next of kin. It`s a natural and customary way especially for younger people to communicate. We are planning to launch another live chat line in November to reach all in need for support.
A lot of contacts comes from the next of kin. The Finnish health care system hasn´t got resources enough to give the support required and the support of next of kin is now one of the main targets within Cancer Society of Finland. There has been a pilot course which showed that group activities had a positive impact on coping and mental well-being of next of kin.
During the year 2017 there will be done a national statement of the need for support for both patients and next of kin in collaboration with University of eastern Finland. Based on information it provides an operating model will be developed for organizing courses for both groups.
A genetic counseling is organized in collaboration with Helsinki University Central Hospital`s Clinical Genetics Unit. Anyone interested in cancer heredity can contact advice nurse and it has showed that a number of contacts have been increasing every year. Advice nurse goes through the situation and sends a backround information form to the patient. A family tree is drawn and after that it is presented to the doctor of genetics. All worrying things will be talked trough with the patient on an appointment where also cancer preventing issues have an important role. Based on all information gathered the doctor of genetics will decide if a further referral to the Huch`s Clinical Genetics Unit is needed.
The Cancer Society of Finland organized a first course for patients with breast cancer who have been diagnosed with a BRCA gene defect, in October 2016. A feedback was excellent and the patients really got targeted information and support what they needed. Due to the feedback there is now courses for both those who have got a breast or ovarian cancer with BRCA gene defect as well as for those who have BRCA gene defect but have not yet become ill.