Cancer services


Cancer is one of the main causes of death in Ireland. If you have any concerns regarding cancer or have a family history of cancer or have symptoms that you are worried about, you should contact your family doctor (GP).

Cancer care services are provided by your family doctor (GP), hospitals and community care services.

There are also palliative care services, that is, care for a patient and his/her family when there is no longer a medical expectation of a cure.

HSE National Cancer Control Programme (NCCP)

It is widely accepted that the best outcomes for cancer patients are achieved when the initial diagnosis, treatment plan, surgery and radiotherapy are carried out by multi-disciplinary teams dealing with large numbers of patients.

In 2007 the Health Service Executive (HSE) established a National Cancer Control Programme to manage, organise and deliver a national programme for the entire population. Under the NCCP there are eight cancer centres within four managed cancer control networks nationally. All initial diagnosis and surgery will eventually take place in these cancer centres. Chemotherapy and follow up care will be delivered more locally, according to care plans set at the cancer centres. There are Rapid Access Clinics for prostate cancer detection and treatment and lung cancer detection and treatment in all eight cancer centres. You may be referred to one of these by your GP or other medical professional.

Cancer centres
Networks Centres
HSE Dublin North East

Beaumont Hospital

Mater Misericordiae Hospital

HSE Dublin Mid Leinster

St. James's Hospital

St. Vincent's Hospital

HSE South

Cork University Hospital

Waterford Regional Hospital

HSE West

University Hospital Galway

Limerick Regional Hospital

National Cancer Screening Service

The National Cancer Screening Service is part of the NCCP and provides the following cancer screening programmes:

National Cancer Registry

The National Cancer Registry is a statutory body whose function is to collect and analyse data and report on cancer incidence and mortality in Ireland.


Child oncology patients and children with permanent disabilities

In the case of children receiving treatment for cancer (that is, child oncology patients) and children with permanent disabilities, tax relief may be claimed on certain telephone, overnight accommodation, travel, hygiene products and special clothing expenses incurred as health expenses. Read more about taxation of medical expenses in Ireland here.

Travel2Care scheme

Some people who are referred to a cancer centre may need help with the costs of travelling to their appointment(s). The NCCP therefore funds a Travel2Care scheme, which is administered by the Irish Cancer Society. The scheme may help patients with some travel costs if they have genuine financial hardship or need due to travelling to a cancer centre.

Patients who are attending a designated cancer care centre for assessment and/or investigations in one of the approved centres can apply by downloading and completing Application Form A: Assessment and Investigation (pdf) or request a hardcopy to be posted by contacting: Travel2Care, Irish Cancer Society, Tel: (01) 231 6643/ 231 6619 or email

Patient who are having ongoing treatment (chemotherapy or radiotherapy), must speak to a medical social worker, cancer nurse or other healthcare professional who may complete Application Form B on their behalf.

Care To Drive programme

Care to Drive is a volunteer-led transport initiative in which the Irish Cancer Society recruit and train volunteers to drive patients to and from their chemotherapy appointments. The service is free to the patient and the hospital. It is not yet nationally available.

It is currently available in the following hospitals:

  • St. James's Hospital, Dublin
  • St. Vincent's University Hospital, Dublin
  • Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin
  • Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin (public)
  • Letterkenny General Hospital
  • Sligo General Hospital
  • Mid Western Regional Hospital, Limerick
  • Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe
  • Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore
  • Adelaide and Meath Hospital, Tallaght
  • Waterford Regional Hospital
  • Cork University Hospital
  • The Mercy Hospital, Cork
  • Kerry General Hospital
  • Galway University Hospital
  • St. Luke’s Hospital

The patient must present themselves to the social worker in the partner hospital or to the nurse administering their chemotherapy treatment who will then perform an assessment on the patient and can refer them to the service. For more information call the Irish Cancer Society on (01) 231 0522 or (01) 231 0566.

Where to apply

The Irish Cancer Society is a voluntary organisation that provides support and help to cancer sufferers and their families. It provides some nursing services and funds some palliative care and twilight nursing services. It has local branches in most parts of the country.

Irish Cancer Society

43-45 Northumberland Road
Dublin 4

Tel:(01) 2310 500
Locall:Freephone Helpline 1800 200 700
Fax:(01) 2310 555

CanTeen is a support group for young people aged 12–25 who have had cancer and for their families and friends. It operates from the Irish Cancer Society premises. Cancer Helpline Freefone 1800 200 700. E-mail:

National Cancer Registry

Building 6800
Cork Airport Business Park
Kinsale Road

Tel:(021) 431 8014
Fax:(021) 431 8016

Page edited: 2 June 2015