Cancer incidence varies by region more among men, but cancer mortality more among women

The Finnish Cancer Registry has completed the cancer statistics on the year 2019. The objective of these statistics is to provide a comprehensive and reliable overview of Finland’s cancer burden.

Cancer in Finland 2019 -report compiles information on new cancer cases, the number of cancer deaths, cancer prevalence and patient survival. In addition, the report presents predictions of the cancer burden in 2035.

All told, there were 35,327 new cancer cases and 13,085 cancer deaths recorded in 2019. The most common cancer types were prostate cancer in men and breast cancer in women. The number of cancer survivors was also the highest in these two cancer types in 2019.

The most common causes of cancer deaths in men were lung and prostate cancer and colorectal cancer. Breast cancer was the most common cause of cancer death in women. In prostate cancer, melanoma of the skin and breast cancer in women, the five-year survival after diagnosis stood at over 90%. The incidence of melanoma of the skin has increased sharply and is expected to increase by 32% by 2035.

Cancer incidence and mortality were the highest among people with a basic level of education and the lowest among those with a higher education. The difference between these groups was clearer in the case of cancer mortality. In lung cancer in particular, the difference in incidence and mortality between the basic and higher education levels was highlighted.

This report also analyses regional differences in cancer. As regards cancer incidence, the regional variation was higher among men than among women, but among women cancer mortality varied more by region than among men.

At the time of writing this report, Finland has been in the middle of a coronavirus pandemic for a year. The effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on cancer detection was assessed by examining the number of cancer samples reported to the Cancer Registry. Between March and June 2020, there were 12% (2,610) fewer cancer samples reported than expected based on previous years.

Full report: Cancer in Finland 2019 (pdf)