Estonian Cancer Society

Life Force Society – Estonian Cancer Society

The non-profit association, Estonian Cancer Society, was founded in 1992 on the initiative of the Scientific Society of Estonian Oncologists.


President of the Estonian Cancer Society Prof. Väino Rätsep:

“In order to reduce cancer and improve treatment results, we have to reach out to the public at large. We decided to establish the Estonian Cancer Society as a volunteer based society for people who share the same vision, to amalgamate the efforts of doctors, scientists, medical staff and cancer patients, individuals and enterprises – all those who are committed to fighting cancer.”


Head of the Management Board of the Estonian Cancer Society Dr. Vahur Valvere:

“The most important objective of the Estonian Cancer Society today is to project a greater influence in promoting a healthy lifestyle and encourage persistent monitoring of one’s medical status. This is the most effective way for our society to prevent cancer and detect this illness in the early formation stages where it can be effectively treated”


According to the Estonian Cancer Registry, there are approximately 34,000 cancer patients in Estonia today. In 2008, 7,122 primary cases of malignant tumours were diagnosed in Estonia, and on average 3,500 persons die of cancer every year. In the past ten years, the number of new cancer cases has increased by 20 per cent and yet at the same time the cancer death rate has decreased. The far reaching effects of cancer can be felt globally which has spurred continued research and new knowledge leading to practices where at least half of today’s cancer patients have a good chance to recover if the illness is detected in its early stage. According to specialists, it is possible to avoid approximately one third of all cancer deaths by taking preventive action (ie attending regular screening clinics) where an early diagnosis is key to a successful treatment.

These results indicate that the Estonian Cancer Society is on the right path and therefore must continue to focus its activities on prevention, encourage early detection and promote a healthy lifestyle. For our cancer patients we remain committed to improving their quality of life and helping solve cancer-related social problems.

The Estonian Cancer Society is the umbrella organisation for the following non-profit associations in Estonia that deal with cancer-related issues. There are 17 sub-organisations, including 12 patients’ associations with a total membership of over 2,000.

The Estonian Cancer Society has established two foundations: SA Vähi Sõeluuringud (Cancer Screening Foundation) and SA Vähihaigete Toetusravi (Cancer Patients Support and Treatment Foundation).