Acting early on cancer signs this New Year can save lives: Irish Cancer Society

The Irish Cancer Society is urging the public to prioritise their health this New Year by going to their doctor about any worrying changes in their body. 

The call comes amid concern over the estimated 1 in 10 expected cases of cancer that were not recorded in the first year of the pandemic in 2020, when access to healthcare was temporarily disrupted. 

This has prompted concerns that if people who noticed issues with their health throughout the pandemic do not seek help it could lead to cancers progressing further, and becoming harder to treat as a result. 

Acting early is key, according to Irish Cancer Society Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrogh, who revealed that the charity’s Your Health Matters roadshow offering free health checks to the public will visit 30 locations around the country in 2023 to assist in this effort. 

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We know that acting early when potential signs of cancer arise can save lives.

Irish Cancer Society Director of Advocacy Rachel Morrogh
Rachel Morrogh close crop

“We were delighted to be able to bring our Your Health Matters roadshow to 20 locations nationwide in 2022 with over 18,500 people seen, and we will be visiting even more areas in 2023. 

“However, this is just one part of a big push that is needed to identify the many cases of cancer that have gone undetected during the pandemic. Recently published figures from the National Cancer Registry show that around 2,500 cases of cancer expected to be detected in 2020 were not picked up, and this reflects just the impact of the first year of the pandemic.

“That’s why we’re urging anyone who notices any changes in their body that are unusual for them, such as a new lump, sudden or drastic weight loss, or a persistent cough not to delay in speaking to their doctor. Healthcare services are available and they are there for this very reason, so you will not be turned away. 

“Screening programmes like BreastCheck, CervicalCheck and BowelScreen are another valuable tool that help to pick up cancer early in people who may be showing no other symptoms, so it is vital that those who are eligible attend for screening when they are invited. 

“Anyone with a concern or query about cancer can also contact the nurses on our Freephone Support Line at 1800 200 700 or, where they will receive free, non-judgemental information and advice.”