Irish women are more likely to die from cancer than those in most other western European nations, according to a report published today by the Women's Health Council and the National Cancer Registry.
The report says cancer is the second most common cause of death among women in Ireland, with around 3,500 women dying from the illness every year.
It also says the incidence of most types of cancer increased among women between 1994 and 2001.
The Women's Health Council and the National Cancer Registry are calling for the establishment of nationwide breast and cervical cancer screening programmes in an effort to tackle the problem.
Speaking at the launch of today's report, Lindsay Sharpe from the National Cancer Registry said the higher incidence of cancer among Irish women could be down to a number of factors, including smoking, poor diets and low levels of physical activity.
She also said the higher death rates could be caused by slower diagnoses and a lack of accessibility to cancer treatments.