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Facts about cancer

One in three people in Finland will develop cancer at some point during their lifetime. Every year, about 30 000 people are diagnosed with cancer. But two thirds of them recover from the disease. These pages contain basic information about how cancer develops, cancer research, and different cancers and their symptoms.

Cancer is a group of different types of cancers

Cancer is not one uniform disease, but the causes, symptoms, types and treatments of different cancers differ from each other. Information about different cancers is gathered in the cancer type page.

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How is cancer treated?

The goal of cancer treatments is that the cancer is cured, the disease is brought under control, cancer recurrence is prevented and the symptoms caused by the tumor are alleviated. Read more about cancer treatment.

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Recommended contents according to your situation

Information about cancer in stages

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What is cancer?

Cancer is a general term for a large group of diseases, whose causes, characteristics and occurrence can vary greatly. There is no completely clear-cut definition of cancer. Cancer is particularly a disease of older people. Due to population ageing, we have seen an increase in cancer incidence.

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Cancer symptoms

Cancer has numerous symptoms. It may be asymptomatic for a long time or it may involve only very general symptoms, such as fatigue or weight loss.

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How do I cope with it all?

The strongest emotions often subside gradually over time, and adjustment becomes more and more an inner work in itself. 

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Diagnosis – It can’t be true!

Everyone has their own way of dealing with a cancer diagnosis. Very often it causes a crisis.

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Differentiation and staging of cancer

Cancer has a number of different stages. Following exposure to the factor that causes cancer it usually takes a long time before the cancer begins to develop.

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Taking care of yourself

Taking care of daily routines is part of self-care. Taking care of yourself during your illness is the most important way you can contribute to your recovery.

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Cancer and work

When you are diagnosed with cancer, the first thing that may come to mind is that there will be a long period off work. But as with many other illnesses, cancer does not necessarily result in work incapacity or being off work for a long period.

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Cancer pain

Cancer and its treatments can cause many different types of pain. Cancer pain is the most common and most important symptom associated with cancer regarding quality of life. Around half of people with cancer experience pain.

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Good nutrition

Good nutrition is particularly important if you have cancer, as it will help you stay as fit as possible.

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How to go on?

For more and more people, cancer can be cured or at least controlled so that you can live a near-normal life. The end of treatment can feel both relieving and frightening at the same time.

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Follow-up care

After treatment, you will be followed up. Cancer patients are followed up at regular intervals. Follow-up varies depending on the type of cancer and how far the cancer has spread. You may receive follow-up care for some time after treatment in a specialist hospital and then transfer to primary care.

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Exercise and cancer

Research shows that there is strong evidence that exercise has many benefits for people with cancer.

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After cancer

Yhä useampi syövän sairastanut voi palata hoitojen jälkeen normaaliin elämään. Sairauden läpikäyminen vie oman aikansa. Syöpähoitojen loputtua on parasta ottaa rauhallisesti ja kerätä voimia.

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Back to work after cancer

A long absence from work may require support, flexibility and rehabilitation. The best results come from cooperation between the employer, employee and occupational health service.

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Rehabilitation in public sector

You can get rehabilitation from the public healthcare side if your illness and its treatments have affected your ability to work and function and survive in everyday life.

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Supporting a person who is ill

Seeing a loved one suffering and in pain can make you feel helpless and insecure. You both have your own suffering to deal with. You would like to be there to support and help them, but you don’t know how or in what way. 

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Peer support

Voit saada vertaistukea sekä kahden kesken tukihenkilön kanssa, että vertaisryhmässä. Vertaistukea on tarjolla sekä kasvokkain että etänä.

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Loved ones’ grief

The death of a loved one and the ensuing grief is a long process with many stages. The closer the patient is to you, the harder it is to let go.

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Support to patients and their loved ones