Cancer figures could almost double by 2045 based on recent rates, the Irish Cancer Society has warned today.
The Annual Report of the National Cancer Registry was released today and shows that cancers and related tumours are now the most common cause of death in Ireland.
The report shows that the number of people diagnosed with the most serious types of invasive cancer could increase by 98% in the next 30 years if recent cancer rates apply to future population estimates.
It says that the number of cancers diagnosed annually have increased by about 85% since the mid-1990s, but this is largely reflecting population growth and ageing.
The Irish Cancer Society says the figures are a 'wake-up call' for immediate action.
CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power, said that the projections are stark but need not become a reality.
“By improving our lifestyles and availing of free screening each of us can dramatically reduce our risk of getting cancer," she said.
“Four in ten cancers are preventable. We can all reduce our risk of getting cancer by eating healthily, exercising and limiting our alcohol intake. Smokers can quit with the support of services such as the Irish Cancer Society’s ‘We Can Quit’ programme. The HPV vaccine also gives us an incredible opportunity to virtually eliminate cervical cancer.
“Addressing health inequalities is also a priority for the Irish Cancer Society. Disadvantaged groups are still more likely to get, and die, from cancer than more privileged groups.
"We won’t stand for that. We will continue to call for better access to cancer tests for all, increased uptake of screening programmes and no barriers to seeing doctors.
“Together, these actions could save thousands of lives in the years ahead”, she said.