Irish Cancer Society urges more support as disease incidence set to rise

Incidence of cancer in Ireland predicted to double by 2040

 Irish Cancer Society volunteer May Ryan with “Daff Man” James Gilleran at the launch of the 28th Daffodil Day, which takes place on Friday, March 27th. Photograph: Alan Betson

Irish Cancer Society volunteer May Ryan with “Daff Man” James Gilleran at the launch of the 28th Daffodil Day, which takes place on Friday, March 27th. Photograph: Alan Betson

 

Irish people must continue their generosity in order to combat the worst effects of the country’s rapidly increasing cancer rates, according to Irish Cancer Society chief executive John McCormack.

Research released by the National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP) on Monday revealed that the incidence of cancer here is set to double by 2040. Currently about 30,000 members of the public are diagnosed with cancer every year.

Projections released by the World Health Organisation in 2012 provided a more pessimistic outlook, with experts predicting a 72 per cent increase in new cancer cases detected throughout the State by 2030.

Speaking at the launch of the 2015 Daffodil Day campaign, which will see some 4,000 volunteers aim to raise €3.5 million on March 27th , Mr McCormack said the public’s continued dedication was imperative to the continuation of adequate service provisions for cancer sufferers.

“The Irish people have really stood by the Irish Cancer Society, right through the recession,” he said.

“People have cut a lot of things out of their expenditure but they haven’t cut us. We’re humbled and indebted to the Irish people for their support.

“To meet the increased demand for help as more people get and survive cancer we need to raise even more money,” he added.

Although the increased incidence is due mainly to the country’s ageing population, the Irish Cancer Society is urging people to take whatever preventative measures possible to alleviate further strain on the health system in future.

“The challenge for us is to get more people into life-changing ways of reducing the risk of cancer by smoking less, drinking less alcohol, curbing obesity and improving diet and exercise. We need to keep working on those,” said Mr McCormack.

Addressing the 350 attendees at today’s event in Croke Park, NCCP interim director Dr Jerome Coffey encouraged drug companies to maintain a sensible approach to pricing cancer treatments and stressed the need for additional oncologists in treatment centres.

While largely complimentary towards the Government’s attitude regarding cancer services, Mr McCormack said his organisation remained “concerned” about hospital waiting times and was “anxious” that people with suspicions that they may be suffering from cancer may be deterred from hospitals due to overcrowding.