Increase in cancer survival rates

The rate of cancer per head of population has fallen by 2% annually for men and by 0.1% for women, it is indicated in the National Cancer Registry’s Annual Report which provides details of cancer incidence, mortality and survival in Ireland for the period 1994-2015.

However, the overall number of cancers diagnosed continues to rise due to a growing and an aging population.

The National Cancer Registry’s Report also showed that there had been an increase in cancer survival rates in recent years, and overall 5-year cancer survival now stands at 61.1% for all tumour types.

It is estimated that 22,320 invasive cancers (excluding non-fatal non-melanoma skin cancer) were diagnosed annually during 2015-2017;

  • 5-year survival rates have improved from 44.2% (1994-1998) to 61.1% (2010-2014).
  • Survival rates for some cancers are now above 80%, these include: testis cancer (96.3%), prostate cancer (92.1%), skin melanoma (88.7%), and breast cancer (82.9%).
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Ireland, with an average of 8,770 deaths annually.
  • The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 30% of cancer deaths could be prevented by modifying or avoiding key risk factors.
  • Tobacco use is considered to be the single most important risk factor for cancer.