How we source our cancer statistics

The National Cancer Registry, Ireland (NCRI) records information on all cancer cases occurring in Ireland.

Each year the NCRI publishes its annual report which gives updated information on the number of cancers diagnosed in Ireland as well as the number of cancer survivors and survival rates.

Actual data collected and published by the NCRI tends to lag three to four years behind the current year. However, their most recent report provides estimated annual incidence figures for each main cancer type on a national scale for the period 2015-2017. It is these figures which you will find in the cancer information pages on cancer.ie, as well as in our press releases and news webpages.

Current estimates state that more than 40,000 people in Ireland get cancer each year. This figure is comprised of both invasive and non-invasive tumours, as well as non-melanoma skin cancers.

For all invasive cancers excluding non-melanoma skin cancer, the figures most often quoted in international comparisons, the NCRI estimates that around 22,320 cases (11,890 men, 10,430 women) were diagnosed annually, representing two-thirds of all registered invasive cases.

As these national estimated figures are not provided on a county-by-county basis, the statistics we use regarding the number of cancer cases per county are derived from online county-incidence maps published by the NCRI, which reflect actual recorded cancers up to 2014, the most recent year that such information is available.

The NCRI report also outlines the estimated number of people living with or beyond cancer as of 31 December, 2015. The Irish Cancer Society classifies these numbers as cancer survivors on our website and in press materials.

Five-year cancer survival rates – the percentage of people who survive for at least five years after their cancer diagnosis – are also collated by the NCRI and used by the Irish Cancer Society in our public content. The most up-to-date survival rates available per cancer type refer to the years 2010-2014 and is an estimate for invasive cancers annually over those years.

The Irish Cancer Society projects that, by 2020, 1 in 2 people in Ireland will develop cancer during their lifetime. This projection is 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. Information on the number of deaths in Ireland caused by cancer is sourced from the Central Statistics Office.

For more information on cancer in Ireland visit ncri.ie

Date Last Reviewed: 
Friday, November 3, 2017