Unless changes are made, cancer figures could almost double by 2045, the Irish Cancer Society has warned.
The Society was responding to new figures set out in the Annual Report of the National Cancer Registry.
CEO of the Irish Cancer Society, Averil Power, described the figures as a ‘wake-up call’ that must prompt immediate action.
“While these projections are stark, they need not become a reality” she said. “By improving our lifestyles and availing of free screening each of us can dramatically reduce our risk of getting cancer.
“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.
“The Government must ensure the cancer prevention recommendations in the National Cancer Strategy are fully implemented. This would empower people to make healthy choices, while also increasing early detection and improving outcomes.
“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 concluded.