National Cancer Control Programme
Cancer prevention, diagnosis and treatment, is a major healthcare challenge. The National Cancer Control Programme works with health service providers to prevent cancer, treat cancer, and increase survival and quality of life for those who develop cancer, by converting the knowledge gained through research, surveillance and outcome evaluation into strategies and actions.

Regional Cancer Services

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. Nine 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. There are now seven Hospital Groups, including the Children’s Hospital Group. 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 are nine designated cancer centres.  A further 17 public hospitals provide systemic anti-cancer therapy (chemotherapy, immunotherapy etc.). An additional two centres provide radiotherapy services.

Ireland’s nine 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.

Hospital Group Cancer Centre




Beaumont University Hospital


Ireland East


Mater University Hospital 


St Vincent’s University Hospital


Dublin Midlands


St James’s University Hospital 




Cork University Hospital


Waterford Regional Hospital 


Saolta University



Galway University Hospital 

(satellite: Letterkenny General Hospital)


University Limerick


University Hospital Limerick


Children’s Health Ireland


Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin


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 eight cancer centres and Letterkenny University Hospital. Rectal cancer surgery is undertaken at 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 eight 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.

Information obtained  from The NCCP page on HSE website