Incidents of invasive cancers are to more than double by 2030, figures from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland have revealed.
The projected figures show that there will be 54,780 cases in 2030 compared to 26,283 in 2010 – an increase of 108 per cent.
Speaking at the launch of Daffodil Day 2013 was the director of the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP), Dr Susan O’Reilly, who said that the implementation of well-organised cancer control systems could help increase Ireland’s cancer survival rate by 10 per cent.
Introduced in late 2012, it is available to both men and women, and aims to target the over 2,000 new cases of bowel cancer in Ireland each year.
With over 4,000 packs already sent out to men and women between the ages of 60-69, recipients can provide everything needed for testing from the comfort of their own homes before posting them back.
Stressing that just five per cent of cancers are inherited, a much bigger worry is the roughly 30 per cent that are directly related to lifestyle choice.
While acknowledging that ‘finger wagging’ won’t work, O’Reilly was unequivocal in the step that she believed government needed to take to reduce incidences of the most common ‘lifestyle choice’ cancer in Ireland – lung cancer:
I think the government should stop being afraid of losing revenue because of [cigarette] smuggling and should raise taxes on cigarettes.
Provisional results for 2012 had shown that one-third of people who attended rapid access lung clinics were diagnosed with a primary cancer.
Progress is being made, however, with a range of new cancer drugs set to come onstream in 2013 along with an increase in cancer treatment services.
One such service is the new National Prostate Brachytherapy Programme, which has led to the provision of single day treatments for the cancer at its centres in Galway, Cork and Dublin.
Looking to the future, O’Reilly outlined what the critical success factors would be for the NCCP, which included population-based screening, better early diagnosis, multidisciplinary teams and more doctors, specialised nurses and volunteers.