Cancer projections for Ireland 2015 – 2040

Cover of cancer projections for Ireland 2015 – 2040
Publication date: 
January, 2014
Related staff: 
Dr Harry Comber (former staff)

This report of cancer incidence projections shows that the incidence of cancer in Ireland is expected to double by 2040. With the exception of leukemia in males, the number of cancers is projected to increase for all cancer types between 2010 and 2040. Trends are summarised in the figures below. The most rapidly increasing cancers are expected to be those of the skin – both melanoma and non-melanoma – in both sexes.

Lung cancer incidence is rising more rapidly in females than in males and by 2040 the rate is projected to increase by 136% in females and 52% in males. Cancers of the colon and rectum are projected to increase largely in line with demographic change, by 120% - 130% between 2010 and 2014. Future trends in female breast cancer and in prostate cancer are difficult to project.

These projections take into account changes in demography, such as population size and age distribution, as well as trends in cancer incidence since 1994. Although demographic change will be the main factor driving an increase in cancer numbers, trends in risk factor prevalence and the expansion of population-based screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer will also have an impact.

Projections of the number of cancer cases are valuable in setting priorities for prevention and in anticipating the demand for cancer services. This is the third set of projections of future cancer cases produced by the National Cancer Registry. This report presents a) current trends in numbers of new cancers and incidence rates over the period 1994 to 2010, b) estimates of the future number of cancer cases, at five year intervals from 2015 to 2040, and c) estimates of the number of cancer treatments in 2025.

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