Breast cancer screening

The Mass Screening Registry monitors the quality of breast cancer screening using the screening indicators in the breast cancer screening statistics that are published annually. Research projects of the Mass Screening Registry study the advantages and disadvantages of breast cancer screening with latest projects about the effectiveness of screening and overdiagnosis of cancer.


The aim of the research on lifestyle and quality of life impacts of screening mammography is to find links between lifestyle, quality of life, breast cancer screening and breast cancer. This is achieved by combining the information gathered by questionnaire with data obtained from the Finnish Cancer Registry on screening and cancers.

The collection of data is based on the Lifestyle, Quality of Life and Health questionnaire sent out to 10 000 randomly chosen Finnish residents over 2012-2015. The first questionnaire was sent to women aged 49, approximately one year before the first invitation for national breast cancer screening. The same questionnaire was sent again the following year.

The questionnaire is based on Finnish and internationally validated surveys and research results. Respondents were asked about smoking, alcohol consumption, nutrition and exercise, health and quality of life factors (including the Women’s Health Questionnaire, Satisfaction With Life Scale). Also factors concerning reproductive health and screening behaviour were asked.

The research data is of international significance both for its content and extent. If you are interested in using the questionnaire survey data, please contact Elli Hirvonen for advice on data requests:

Questionnaire forms: (Finnish, Swedish, English)

breast cancer screening questionnaire_ENG (pdf)

Most important publications:

Design and respondent selection of a population-based study on associations between breast cancer screening, lifestyle and quality of life.

Physical activity and menopause-related quality of life – A population-based cross-sectional study

Koulutusasteen ja sukulaisella todetun rintasyövän yhteys vaihdevuosien hormonikorvaushoidon käyttöön ja koettuun rintasyöpäriskiin

Lead researcher: Nea Malila

Research team: Tytti Sarkeala, Sirpa Heinävaara, Maija Jäntti, Sanna Heikkinen, Sanni Helander

Funding: Cancer Foundation of Finland, grant for psychosocial cancer research for 2011-2014.

Collaborating institutions: National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), UKK Institute, Aalto University.