Cancer in Ireland

  • By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime. It is predicted that Ireland will see a doubling in the incidence of cancer by 2045.
  • In Ireland an average of 43,000 new cases of cancer are diagnosed each year. This means that one person is diagnosed with cancer every 3 minutes.
  • Cancer has overtaken heart disease as the most common cause of death in Ireland.
  • Non-melanoma skin cancer, prostate cancer and breast cancer are the most commonly diagnosed cancers in Ireland.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both sexes, accounting for 19% of cancer deaths in women and 23% in men. Colorectal cancer is the next most common cause of cancer death in both sexes.
  • There are currently more than 170,000 people living with and beyond cancer today in Ireland.
  • The total number of cancers diagnosed has increased by 85 per cent since the mid-1990s, this is largely due to population growth and ageing.
  • Due to significant improvements in cancer treatment and earlier detection, (e.g national screening programmes), the likelihood of surviving many forms of cancer continues to increase.
  • Long-term survival from cancer has greatly increased in the past twenty years – from 40 per cent to 62 per cent for men and from 48 per cent to 60 per cent for women.

All data sourced from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) ( and the Central Statistics Office (

Cancer prevention

4 in 10 cancers can be prevented through lifestyle changes. Find out how you can reduce your cancer risk on our Your Health: Your Choice page.

Cancer services

The Marie Keating offers a number of free cancer services to both men and women.

There are also cancer support centres and services available all over Ireland. You can find a list of these services here.

Some companies offer products and services that will be of interest to people affected by cancer.