Plan for resuming cancer screening services must be published – Irish Cancer Society

A plan for resuming cancer screening services must be outlined urgently, the Irish Cancer Society has said. 

The decision to pause screening services was made in line with public health advice but as work begins to restart our health system we must now see a detailed roadmap for the safe return of screening programmes.

A screening programme helps find cancers at an early stage and generally before people have symptoms.

These programmes were initially paused to reduce the number of healthy people attending medical environments at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is now essential that screening is safely returned to full capacity as soon as possible and the backlog is dealt with promptly and safely. 

The assessment and treatment of anyone who received a positive screening result pre-Covid, must also be urgently completed if it has not been already.

The HSE needs to reassure the public by publishing a plan detailing how it will use all available capacity in the public and private sector to deal with the backlog in cancer services in an efficient way. 

We would also remind people that if you suspect you are displaying a sign or a symptom of cancer it is important that you contact a GP.

In hospitals around the country cancer diagnoses are still being made daily. We have also been assured that urgent care is available. It is very important that people do not ignore a worrying symptom and seek medical help without delay.