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NCU meeting 25 September 2020

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the NCU board meeting took place online.

COVID-19 and cancer in the Nordic countries

The NCU board discussed how the corona situation has affected and still affects the cancer area.

It is clear that

  • Many patients with symptoms have waited to see a doctor, at risk of having their cancer diagnosed at a more serious stage
  • Fewer patients have been referred for diagnosis for cancer
  • Fewer patients have been treated for cancer
  • Most cancer patients has been treated within treatment guarantees
  • Many follow-up sessions have taken place by telephone and online
  • Some rehabilitation have been delayed, but is on the way to normal levels
  • Participation in screenings has decreased, but new invitations and extended deadlines for participation are expected to increase participation
  • Many cancer patients have experienced isolation, loneliness and worries due to the fact, that relatives are unable to participate /join them for meetings , treatments, etc. at hospitals

Nordic Summerschool in Cancerepidemiology 2021 – 2022

The NCU Board allocated 80.000 euro to a Nordic Summer School in Cancerepidemiology 2021 – 2022.

The aim of the course is to increase research competence and the utilization of population-based databases in cancer (cancer registries etc.) for new knowledge, benchmarking and follow-up and thus policy development and evidence base for cancer societies.

During two weeks of intensive basic training, the course introduces theories of research and cancer epidemiology, population based as well as clinical, and provides a network between students and competent researchers and peers in the field. Each student is provided a tutor from a cancer registry research group and a research project to complete during the two month´ practical work period. Half a year after the theoretical part students and tutors meet to present and discuss results. Hence, the course is comprehensive from idea, theory, and practical to reporting and peer review.

Many previous students are now active in research – most in public health, registries and clinics but also laboratory research has received researchers with good skills in epidemiology, strengthening translational research. Impact of this activity is long-term for students, but also short-term benefits for the institutes having projects carried out during the course period. The course is unique in its set-up mixing theory and work on real data of which most end up in peer reviewed publications.

Transfer of NCU Chair and secretariats to The Cancer Society of Finland

In accordance with the NCU statutes, the NCU Board decided, that the NCU Chair and secretariat function in relation to general matters and the scientific committee are transferred to the Cancer Society of Finland for the period 2021 – 2023.

Inspirational presentation

The theme was “Det Gode Testamente” (The Good Will)

In 2015, three Danish charities (Gigtforeningen, Hjerteforeningen and Kræftens Bekæmpelse) decided to launch an initiative to inform the Danes about the possibility of including a charity in their will. As a result, 31 charities formed the collaboration Det Gode Testamente in 2017. Det Gode Testamente launched a web portal: where all Danes can search for information and advice on how to include a charitable bequest in their will. Today “Det Gode Testamente” consists of 40 charities.

The overall message is that it is relevant and sensible to write a will, and that donating money to a good cause is a positive and life-affirming choice. It is all about passing on something good.

Det Gode Testamente works closely with two Danish bar associations: Danske Familieadvokater and Danske Arveretsadvokater. A nation-wide network of more than 200 attorneys was established and provides through the web portal free counseling on inheritance and writing a will.

Since Det Gode Testamente was established, there has been a significant increase in the number of charitable bequests. From 2017 to 2019, the organizations have reported an increase in the number of grants given to wills benefitting charities of more than 118%.

For further information contact: Charlotte Hjeds, Danish Cancer Society,

Next NCU Board meeting

The next NCU board meeting will take place 10 December 2020