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Cancer in Ireland 1994-2014: Annual Report of the National Cancer Registry


National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI)

Subject Keywords: Cancer, Diagnosis, Men's health, Bowel cancer, Prostate cancer, Skin cancer
Topic: Health Inequalities
Chronic Conditions
Chronic Conditions
Health Inequalities
Type: Report
Region: Republic of Ireland

The latest annual report from the National Cancer Registry, Ireland’s premier source of cancer information, suggests that, although the total number of cancers continues to rise, mainly due to the ageing of our growing population, there is some positive news.

  • For men, the chances of developing (or being diagnosed with) cancer, which had been rising steadily since 1994, may have plateaued. Rates of the top three cancers in men (prostate, colorectal and lung), having adjusted for age, are now declining or static. For women too, the rate of the most common of the more serious cancers, breast cancer, has decreased since 2008, after a long period of increase from 1994.
  • The report shows that about 37,600 new tumours were registered annually in 2012-2014, of which 30,700 were malignant cancers, or 20,800 cancers excluding non-melanoma cancer of the skin, which is the commonest cancer overall but is rarely fatal. The risk of developing cancer was higher for men than for women, overall and for most cancer types.
  • Cancer is the second most common cause of death in Ireland, after diseases of the circulatory system. About 8,700 cancer deaths per year occurred during 2011-2013. Lung cancer was the commonest cause of cancer death, about 21% of the total. The risk of dying of cancer was about 36% higher for men than for women.
  • Survival from cancer continues to improve. Over four consecutive periods, five-year net survival for all cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) increased incrementally: 1994-1998 (44%), 1999-2003 (51%), 2004-2008 (57%) and 2009-2013 (61%). Ten-year survival figures, published in this report for the same time, show a similar trend.
  • At the end of 2014 there were 139,526 persons still alive whose cancer had been diagnosed over the previous 21 years (1994-2014), equivalent to 3% of the Irish population. The most numerous cancer survivors were those who had been diagnosed with breast cancer (31,655), prostate cancer (30,642), bowel cancer (17,136) or melanoma of the skin (9,254).



Rights: © NCRI
Suggested citation:

National Cancer Registry Ireland (NCRI). (2016) Cancer in Ireland 1994-2014: Annual Report of the National Cancer Registry [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 14th November 2019].


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