National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026

The National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026 was published on the 5th of July 2017. The new 10 year National Cancer Strategy focuses on prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and quality of life. The vision for the new National Cancer Strategy is: “Together we will strive to prevent cancer and work to improve the treatment, health & wellbeing, experiences and outcomes of those living with and beyond cancer”.

The patient voice was an integral part of the development of this Strategy, facilitated by the establishment of the Cancer Patient Forum. Many people in Ireland are now living significantly beyond cancer diagnosis and treatment and there are more than 150,000 cancer survivors.

The Strategy sets out four goals that will be crucial to the achievement of this vision, with a number of objectives pertaining to each goal.

  • Reduce the Cancer Burden;
  • Provide Optimal Care;
  • Maximise Patient Involvement and Quality of Life; and
  • Enable and Assure Change.

The first Cancer Strategy, Cancer Services in Ireland: A National Strategy, 1996, identified the inferior Irish mortality figures for cancer and led to the implementation of a series of measures to reduce the death rate from cancer in the under 65 age group by 15% to 2005.

The second Strategy, A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland, 2006 embraced the concept of cancer control that had emerged internationally and it included recommendations in relation to organisation, governance, quality assurance and accreditation across the continuum of cancer care.  The establishment of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) to “formulate a whole population, integrated and cohesive approach to cancer” followed in 2007.

All of these developments have delivered continuing improvements in outcomes for Irish patients with cancer in terms of earlier diagnosis, better treatment and improved rates of survival. Long term survival for all invasive cancers increased to 61% for patients diagnosed in 2009-2013, up from 44% in 1994-1999. Breast cancer five year survival is now 83% and survival for other cancers, such as prostate and testicular, are over 90%.

Further Information:

A Report on the Public Consultation to Inform the Development of a National Cancer Strategy

Press Release – Minister Harris launches National Cancer Strategy 2017-2026

Speech by Minister Harris at the launch of the National Cancer Strategy

National Cancer Strategy 2006: a Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland – Evaluation Panel Report

An Evaluation of “Cancer Services in Ireland: A National Strategy 1996”

Cancer Services in Ireland; A National Strategy