Home > Cancer in Ireland 1994-2018 with estimates for 2018-2020: annual report of the National Cancer Registry.

National Cancer Registry, Ireland. (2020) Cancer in Ireland 1994-2018 with estimates for 2018-2020: annual report of the National Cancer Registry. Cork: National Cancer Registry, Ireland.

PDF (annual report of the National Cancer Registry 2020)

This year’s report estimates that numbers of invasive cancers (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) have risen to about 24,753 cases diagnosed annually during 2018-2020 (13,152 males and 11,641 females), or 36,907 cases including all invasive cancers. These figures represent a doubling of case-numbers since the registry’s early years (1994-1996). However, previous reports have shown that rates of cancer, corrected for population and age, have begun to level off or even decline for many cancer types, thus increases in case numbers in more recent years largely reflect population growth and ageing.

Just over 9,000 deaths from cancer occurred per year during 2015-2017, or about 1 death for every 3 cancers diagnosed (excluding non-melanoma skin cancers). Based on the international CONCORD-3 study (some results of which are summarised in this report), survival of Irish cancer patients ranks in the top half of EU countries surveyed for most cancer types. Ireland’s ranking within Europe has improved over time, but there is still room for improvement. Improvements in survival have contributed to ongoing increases in the numbers of cancer survivors, and we estimate that over 190,000 cancer survivors previously diagnosed with an invasive cancer (other than non-melanoma skin cancer) were alive at the end of 2018. This figure is equivalent to almost 4% (1 in 25) of the Irish population, and is likely to exceed 200,000 by the end of 2020.

On the whole, the implications of the above trends are largely positive, in terms of an individual’s risk of developing or dying from cancer, although the population-level burden of cancer is strongly influenced by population changes. As the cancer projections report published by NCRI last year highlighted, there is uncertainty as to the magnitude of further increases in the annual number of cases diagnosed. A further analysis was published by the NCRI this year, funded by the Irish Cancer Society [1], to assess the proportions of cancer attributable to established risk factors with a view to mitigation of future increases in cancer through action on modifiable risk factors.

Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Report
Drug Type
Alcohol, Tobacco / Nicotine
Intervention Type
Harm reduction
46 p.
National Cancer Registry, Ireland
Corporate Creators
National Cancer Registry, Ireland
Place of Publication

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