Cancer charity’s income drops by €2m as demand grows

THE Irish Cancer Society’s (ICS) income has dropped by €2 million at a time when there is a growing cancer rate, it revealed.

Launching its Christmas Appeal for funding the Irish Cancer Society said its income had fallen by 12% this year, while it estimates that there has been a 21% increase in demand for cancer services year-on-year.

In 2008 the ICS provided 5,725 nights of care to 1,642 patients, this year the estimate is that 6,500 nights of care will be provided to approximately 2,000 patients.

The ICS also pointed to the latest figures from the Irish Cancer Registry, which showed that 27,900 new cases of cancer were diagnosed in 2007, and estimates that the number of newly diagnosed cases of cancer are increasing by as much as 7% annually.

The ICS provides patient services, including the National Cancer Helpline and the Action Breast Cancer Helpline, which along with the Prostate Cancer Information Service, has responded to almost 15,000 queries so far this year.

The chief executive of the Irish Cancer Society John McCormack said donations were vital.

“Unfortunately cancer is an illness that has or will affect all either directly or indirectly at some point in our lives and in this tough economic climate, a cancer diagnosis is having more of a profound effect on a patient and their family’s ability to cope with and manage their disease resulting in significant hardship,” he said.

He paid tribute to those who have supported the ICS during the year.

“We, like a lot of charities, dip into people’s disposable income, that is where we look for money, and clearly when people are experiencing difficulties with their income that impacts on the Irish Cancer Society’s income,” he said.

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