The NCCP is responsible for overseeing national services for the treatment of cancer. These treatments include surgery, radiotherapy and systemic anti-cancer therapy (SACT). An early priority for the NCCP 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 were 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 Hospital Groups has at least one designated cancer centre. The NCCP has also progressed various initiatives to develop radiotherapy and SACT services across Ireland.
There eight designated cancer centres. A further 18 public hospitals provide systemic anti-cancer therapy (chemotherapy, immunotherapy etc.). Details of these are available on the map below. An additional two centres provide radiotherapy services.
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:
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The NCCP works 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 University Hospital. Rectal cancer surgery is undertaken at all eight designated cancer centres, and also at the satellite unit in Letterkenny University Hospital, Saolta University Healthcare Group. 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 a satellite centre in Cork. 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 many large general hospitals.
Read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) on cancer centres.