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National Cancer Registry, Ireland. (2014) Cancer projections for Ireland 2015 - 2040. Cork: National Cancer Registry, Ireland.

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This report of cancer incidence projections shows that the incidence of cancer in Ireland is expected to double by 2040. With the exception of leukemia in males, the number of cancers is projected to increase for all cancer types between 2010 and 2040. Trends are summarised in the figures below. The most rapidly increasing cancers are expected to be those of the skin – both melanoma and non-melanoma – in both sexes.

Although demographic change will be the main factor driving an increase in cancer numbers, trends in risk factor prevalence will also have an impact. 40% of the total cancer risk in the UK population (44% in males, 35% in females) has been attributed to five lifestyle factors—tobacco, diet, overweight/obesity, alcohol and low physical activity. The attributable risks in Ireland are likely to be similar. Smoking prevalence in Ireland is high, although decreasing slowly, and more rapidly in males than females.

Obesity and overweight are increasing in both sexes, as is alcohol consumption (although there may have been a recent decrease in the latter). Levels of self-reported physical activity are low, and have not changed appreciably in the last two decades. Apart from changes in risk factor prevalence, the expansion of population-based screening for breast, cervical and colorectal cancers may also bring some transient increases in cancer incidence. Modelling the expected impact of all of these changes is beyond the scope of this report, but would be worthwhile.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Alcohol, Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
January 2014
89 p.
National Cancer Registry, Ireland
Corporate Creators
National Cancer Registry, Ireland
Place of Publication
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)
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