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Country/JA: Sweden flag Sweden
Action type: Program

Problem: The uptake of screening programs varies between different parts of Stockholm, Sweden despite access to population-based, free of charge service delivery, with socioeconomic inequalities in both cancer survival and other outcomes frequently reported. 

Objective: To reduce inequalities in cancer prevention and early detection related to gender, age, and socioeconomic factors in the multicultural region of Stockholm, Sweden.

Implementation status: The program is ongoing

Key Contextual Factors

  • The initiative started with a pilot study in 2011 and has since been gradually extended.
  • The goal is full implementation in all communities of the Stockholm-Gotland region, Sweden, by December 2023.
  • This program focuses particularly on vulnerable groups, such as multicultural communities, people with learning disabilities, etc. 
  • The program is funded by the Regional Cancer Centre. The municipalities contribute with funding for part time local coordinators. 

Key Components/Steps

  • The regional cancer centre works in close collaboration with community stakeholders, such as GPs, schools, libraries, churches, cultural organizations and networks to inform and educate the public on cancer prevention and early detection.
  • An important part of this initiative is the establishment of volunteer peer to peer advisors who, after education and support, communicate with and inform their community peers. The peer to peer advisors have cultural knowledge and language skills that open doors where other types of health information often fail.
  • The peer to peer advisors report regularly to the cancer centre and their experiences are carefully documented and shared. Actions to improve services are taken, if/when needed.
  • The program is based on the European Code Against Cancer
  • The initiative is led by a cancer survivor

Main Impacts / Added Value

  • The program improves access to cancer prevention, screening and care.
  • Improved access should lead to improved cancer prevention in the long term.

Lessons Learned

  • We see increased awareness on cancer prevention, lifestyle issue and increased attending to cancer screening, but formal evaluation is needed and planned for this on-going program.
  • So far, the experiences are very positive from all stakeholders’ point of view.

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References and Documentation