Cancer control is about much more than providing specialist treatments in hospitals. A lot can be done within communities to help control cancer, e.g.
- support people to lead healthy lifestyles to reduce their risk of cancer
- ensure people have their cancer diagnosed at an early stage
- support patients who are going through treatment, and their families
The Community Oncology Division of the NCCP was established in 2008. Its main aims are to:
- Promote healthy lifestyles for the prevention of cancer especially in relation to smoking cessation, maintaining a healthy diet, increasing physical activity, reducing alcohol consumption and protecting the skin against UV rays. You will find more detailed information here on reducing the risk of getting cancer through lifestyle changes here. In terms of cancer survivorship there is increasing evidence that having a healthy diet and by being physically active can reduce the risk of cancer returning.
- Support General Practitioners in the prevention, early diagnosis and management of cancer, especially through the implementation of referral guidelines and the electronic referral system.
- Enhance capacity among all Primary Health Care personnel to prevent cancer and care for people with cancer, through training and collaborative work with the Irish College of General Practitioners (ICGP), HSE Health & Well-Being, the Office of Nursing & Midwifery Directorate (ONMSD) and voluntary organisations.
- Facilitate smooth patient pathways from Primary Care to the specialist services, and after discharge from hospital.
- Develop cancer survivorship awareness and programmes to support patients after their diagnosis and treatment.