Colorectal cancer screening is the third most common cancer in our country. Over 3 000 people are diagnosed with it and around 1 200 people die from it every year. The mass screenings aim to detect the cancer as early as possible, which makes it easier to treat, while making treatment results better.
At the outset, symptoms of colorectal cancer are often completely absent, or they are vague. Thus, colorectal cancer screening will help detect cancer at an early stage. Colorectal cancer screening can also reveal a precancerous lesion, and its removal can prevent colorectal cancer. According to current knowledge, screening can help prevent about one is six cancer deaths. When colorectal cancer is detected early, treatments are also often easier and lighter for the client: lighter surgery, no stoma, or cytostatic agents.
In 2023, colorectal cancer screening is offered to those turning 60, 62, 64, 66, 68 and 70 years old. The first invitations for the 2023 screening will be sent during February-March. The invitations will be sent in order, according to birth months, in other words those born in the spring months will receive their invitation in the spring, and those born in the summer will receive theirs in the summer, and those born in the autumn and at the end of the year will receive their invitations by the end of November. Please note: In some of the mailed invitations, at the bottom of the letter in the additional information field is an inaccurate number for customer advice service. The number for customer advice service is 03 3117 4445.
In the future, as colorectal cancer screening expands, all 56–74-year-olds will be invited to colorectal cancer screening. These age groups will receive screening invitations* every two years, in those years when the person participating in the screening turns even-numbered years. Screening must be repeated regularly because the test only reveals the current situation. This check-up is part of your home municipality’s health care and is free of charge for those who get an invitation.
You can see the age groups that colorectal cancer targets from this screening matrix.
*Fimlab receives information of those invited to the screening from Finnish Cancer Registry’s Mass Screening Registry and invites them to the examination with a personal invitation letter. The invitation letter cannot be sent to people who have a non-disclosure for personal safety reasons. Instead, these people need to contact Fimlab’s customer service to book an appointment for the screening.
Colorectal cancer screening uses a FIT-test, which looks for hidden blood in stool.
- Those invited to the screening will receive a sampling kit and detailed instructions for taking the sample with the invitation letter (See instructions or instructional video).
- The sample is taken at home and returned by mail to the laboratory.
- The screening centre will examine the sample and the customer will receive the results by mail in approximately a month after having mailed the sample to the laboratory. The screening result will not be transferred to Kanta-services.
A normal result means that no blood was found in the sample and there is no need for further examinations. A positive result, on the other hand, means that blood was found in the screening sample. That is not necessarily a sign of cancer, but more detailed examination is needed in order to find out the reason. Over ninety percent of people have a normal colorectal cancer screening result, in other words no blood is found in their sample.
Collecting data to the Finnish Cancer Registry’s Mass Screening Registry
Fimlab forwards a summary of all colorectal cancer screenings to the Finnish Cancer Registry’s Mass Screening Registry, which compiles data of all screening activities in Finland. The collection of data is based on the law. In addition, the summary will be sent to the municipality that ordered the service. Personal examination results will not be disclosed in the summary that is sent to the municipalities.
Colorectal cancer screening
- Instructions for taking a stool sample
- Watch an instructional video on how to take the sample
- For more information, please visit Finnish Cancer Registry webpage