After the launch of the NCCP in 2007, a key priority was the establishment of designated cancer centres for cancer surgery. The majority, but not all, cancer surgery now takes place in the designated cancer centres. Eight hospitals have been designated as cancer centres (with a satellite unit in Letterkenny General Hospital). In 2013 the Department of Health announced the formation of six Hospital Groups. Each of the new Groups will have at least one designated cancer centre.
As well as the eight designated cancer centres, other hospitals provide cancer services such as chemotherapy. Details of these are available on the map below.
The map below shows the location of the designated cancer centres and other public hospitals where cancer services are provided.
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Ireland's eight Designated Cancer Centres are aligned with the Hospital Group structure.
The table below shows the designated cancer centre in each Hospital Group and the former HSE administrative area for each.
The services provided in the designated cancer centres are summarised in the table below:
Download the diagram: Designated Cancer Centres.jpg (size 62.6 KB)
The NCCP is working to ensure that designated cancer centres for individual tumour types have adequate case volumes, expertise and concentration of specialist skills, working in multidisciplinary teams to ensure the best outcome for patients.
All breast cancer surgery now takes place in the eight cancer centres and Letterkenny. Rectal cancer surgery is undertaken at all eight designated cancer centres, and also at the satellite unit in Letterkenny General Hospital. Prostate cancer surgery is carried out at all four cancer centres in Dublin, at Cork University and at Galway University Hospitals. Prostate and rectal cancer surgery is still undertaken in a small number of other hospitals; it is planned to continue the consolidation of surgery for these cancers into the designated centres. Surgery for gynecological cancers is performed in all cancer centres except Beaumont Hospital. Lung cancer surgery takes place in St. James’, Mater, Cork University and Galway University Hospitals. Surgery for upper gastrointestinal cancers takes place at St James’, Beaumont and Galway University hospitals and will also transfer from the Mercy Hospital to the designated cancer centre at Cork University hospital. Pancreatic cancer surgery takes place at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the satellite centre at Cork University Hospital. Surgery for brain and other tumours of the central nervous system is performed at Beaumont and Cork University Hospitals.
Skin cancer and colon cancer continue to be treated in all large general hospitals.
Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) on cancer centres.