Cancer statistics

Facts and figures on cancer rates in Ireland, including incidence, survival and mortality.

Cancer incidence

Every 3 minutes in Ireland someone gets a cancer diagnosis. Every hour someone dies from cancer. Incidence of cancer is growing and by 2020, 1 in 2 of us will get a cancer diagnosis in our lifetime.*

  • By 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime.*
  • In Ireland more 40,000 new cases of cancer or related tumours are diagnosed each year.

Data sourced from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI).
*1 in 2 by 2020 is a projection based on current data provided by the NCRI. It makes allowances for variables such as aging population, lifestyle and other factors and is in line with projections for other countries such as the UK.

Most common cancers

The most common cancers diagnosed in Ireland are:

  1. Skin cancer
  2. Prostate cancer
  3. Breast cancer
  4. Bowel cancer
  5. Lung cancer

Find out more about the most common cancers and incidence rates amongst men and women in Ireland.

Cancer mortality

1 in 4 deaths in Ireland is caused by cancer. 

  • Cancer is the biggest killer in Ireland
  • It accounts for approximately 30% of deaths every year.
  • One person dies from cancer every hour in Ireland.
  • Over 9,000 deaths every year are from cancer.

Data sourced from the Central Statistics Office

Cancer survival

There are more than 170,000 people living with and beyond cancer today in Ireland. But survival rates for individual cancers vary hugely. For example, while 9 out of 10 prostate cancer patients will survive for five years or more, just 2 in 10 lung cancer patients will be as lucky.

Cancer prevention

We now know that 4 out of 10 cancers can be prevented. By not smoking, eating healthily, watching our weight and alcohol intake and exercising we are taking a big step in lowering our risk of cancer.

Cancer and smoking

Smoking is the single biggest cause of cancer, causing one third of all cancers.

  • 9 out of 10 lung cancers are caused by smoking.
  • Cigarettes contain over 4,000 chemicals, 60 of which are known to cause cancer.
  • Half of all smokers will die from a tobacco-related disease.

How we source our cancer statistics

Date Last Reviewed: 
Wednesday, November 28, 2018