A Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland
National Cancer Forum
Promoting health and
Cancer, its prevention, diagnosis and treatment are a major challenge for our society. Cancer is an illness
that afflicts large numbers of people, from all backgrounds, and is feared by individuals and families alike.
Yet there is much reason for optimism; research holds out the possibility of major strides forward in
prevention and cure in the coming decades. We are witnessing major improvements in the treatment of
many types of cancer, but these welcome improvements will also place substantial and diverse pressures on
our health care system.
The ageing of our population will result in an approximate doubling in the number of people who will
develop cancer in Ireland over the next 15 years. It is self-evident that the current services will not be in a
position to meet the substantial demand for treatment, cure and care.
Keeping pace with these demands will require a major government commitment to cancer services in the
coming years, which in turn will require the earliest possible decisions on investment, human resource
planning and the organisation of services. Our aim is to deliver a universal, quality-based and timely service,
in line with the best that is currently available internationally.
To address the rapidly rising burden of cancer, this second National Cancer Strategy A Strategy for Cancer
Control in Ireland 2006 advocates a comprehensive cancer control policy programme. Cancer control is a
whole population, integrated and cohesive approach to cancer that involves prevention, screening, diagnosis,
treatment, and supportive and palliative care. It places a major emphasis on measurement of need and on
addressing inequalities and implies that we must focus on ensuring that all elements of cancer policy and
service are delivered to the maximum possible extent.
This Strategy also focuses substantially on reform and reorganisation of the way we deliver cancer services, in
order to en