Press Release

Minister for Health and Children, Micheál Martin, T.D., launches Report of the National Cancer Registry and announces the preparation by end year of a Revised Implementation Plan for the National Cancer Strategy

´Cancer in Ireland, 1994-1998: Incidence, Mortality, Treatment & Survival´

The Minister for Health and Children Mr. Micheál Martin T.D., today launched the Report of the National Cancer Registry ´Cancer in Ireland, 1994-1998: Incidence, Mortality, Treatment and Survival´

This fifth report of the National Cancer Registry summarises the first five years of data collection by the Registry and presents comprehensive data on treatment and survival patterns nationally.

Between 1994 and 1998, there was no significant change in the risk of developing or dying from cancer.

During the five years covered by this report, almost 20,000 new cases of cancer and 7,500 cancer deaths occurred every year. The commonest cancers were those of the skin, large bowel, breast (in women) and prostate (in men).

Cancer incidence in Ireland was quite similar to that in neighbouring countries. Overall and for most common cancers, cancer rates were lower than in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, higher than in England and close to EU averages.

The Minister said that major developments in the treatment and care of patients with cancer have taken place since the launch in November 1996 of the National Cancer Strategy.

Since 1997, over €103 million has been invested in the development of cancer services. The Minister said that this level of funding far exceeds the €31.7million which was initially envisaged under the Cancer Strategy and is a clear indication of this Government´s continued commitment to the development of co-ordinated and patient focused cancer treatment.

This funding has enabled the funding of 62 additional Consultant posts in key areas such as Medical Oncology, Radiology, Palliative Care, Histopathology and Haematology, together with support staff.

The National Health Strategy has identified the need for the preparation, by the end of 2002 of a revised implementation plan for the National Cancer Strategy. This plan will be development by the Department of Health and Children in conjunction with the National Cancer Forum and will set out the key areas for the development of cancer services over the next seven years.