Under Finland's national screening programme, municipal health centres must arrange screening for the early detection of

  • breast cancer
  • cervical cancer
  • foetal chromosome and growth defects during pregnancy

Municipalities may carry out screening examinations themselves or purchase them from private service providers or non-profit corporations. Municipalities may also arrange other screening examinations for diagnostic purposes and early disease detection than those set out in the national screening programme.

Municipalities must provide their residents with sufficient information about the contents and effects of screening examinations.

Municipal residents are entitled to screening

Municipal residents are entitled to receive screening services. Participation is voluntary and free of charge.

The following groups are invited to screening:

Breast cancer screening

  • women aged between 50 and 69
  • every 20–26 months

Cervical cancer screening

  • women aged between 30 and 60
  • every five years

Screening offered to pregnant women

  • at different stages of pregnancy
  • early pregnancy general ultrasound examination, early pregnancy combined screening, second trimester blood screening test, and structural ultrasound examination

High screening rate in Finland

The screening rate in Finland is high compared to many other OECD countries according to the OECD's report Health at a Glance 2011.

In 2009, 84% of Finnish women aged 50–69 were screened for breast cancer, while the OECD average was 62%. The cervical cancer screening rate was 70% among women aged 20–69, while the OECD average was 61%.

More information

The Mass Screening Registry, a department of the Finnish Cancer Registry, is responsible for planning and evaluating the Finnish cancer screening programmes.

If you have any questions concerning your screening schedule or invitations to screening examinations, please contact the health services of your municipality of residence.

Contact your municipality of residence also if you are not satisfied with the service or treatment you have received.

Further information

Ritva Halila, Senior Medical Officer 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Communities and Functional Capacity / YTO, Children and Young People Unit / LANU 0295163420