Latest annual report from the National Cancer Registry

The latest statistical report from the National Cancer Registry highlights ongoing and projected growth in numbers of cancers diagnosed annually (largely reflecting population growth and ageing), and a further increase in the numbers of cancer survivors among the general population.

Chart of annual average cancer cases

Based on the latest available information, it was estimated that 33,460 invasive cancers, or 22,640 cancers excluding the generally non-fatal non-melanoma cancers of skin, were diagnosed annually during 2016-2018 (or 41,080 cancers and other registered, non-invasive tumours). Total numbers of cancers diagnosed annually have increased by about 85% since the mid-1990s, largely reflecting population growth and ageing. Cancer incidence projections based on an assumption that recent (2011-2015) cancer rates continue to apply in future suggest a further potential doubling of annual case numbers between 2015 and 2045. However, the overall increase by 2045 could be a more modest 50% increase if recent trends, including declines, in rates of some cancers continue.

Cancers and related tumours are now the most common cause of death in Ireland (just ahead of diseases of the circulatory system), and an annual average of about 8,875 deaths from invasive cancer (or 9,094 deaths from all tumours) occurred during 2013-2015. Nevertheless, survival has improved markedly for cancers as a whole and for the most common cancer types since the mid-1990s. Reflecting ongoing increases in numbers of cases diagnosed and in survival, a total of about 173,000 cancer survivors (previously diagnosed with an invasive cancer other than non-melanoma skin cancer) were estimated to be alive at the end of 2016 (equivalent to 3.7% of the Irish population).

A full copy of the report is available to download here.


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