Mater Hospital Launches its First Lung Cancer Annual Report

16th December, 2015

  • Report launched by Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD shows significant strides made in the diagnosis and treatment, but that much more can be done
  • Lung cancer kills more women than breast cancer and remains the commonest cancer killer in men
  • Two thirds of suspected lung cancer patients receive the all-clear.


Patients are afraid to be assessed for lung cancer in case they turn out to have the disease, despite the improving and more effective treatments available.  This is according to the inaugural Lung Cancer Annual Report from the Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, part of the Ireland East Hospital Group, launched today.  The report contains a comprehensive review of the hospital’s key lung cancer services and provides a framework for its performance against international expert centres.

Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD, who is a local TD in the area, launched the annual report with Mr. Gordon Dunne, CEO of the Mater at an event attended by many of the hospital’s senior consultants and staff.  The report covers the hospital’s 2014 activities and highlights some important additional activity which is not captured by national studies.


The report’s findings also include;

  • Two thirds of assessed patients receiving an all-clear after initial assessment.
  • New technical advances mean patients have shorter recovery times thanks to innovative keyhole surgery techniques.


Lung cancer is the second-commonest cancer in women, but is the number one cancer killer – more than breast cancer.  However, in the main, lung cancer is preventable.

“Significant strides have been made at the Mater recently in terms of advanced diagnostics and provision of state-of-the-art treatments for our patients with this devastating disease,” said Dr. Dermot O’Callaghan, Consultant Respiratory, General Physician and Chair of the Hospital’s Lung Cancer Working Group.  “This first annual report is an important milestone in detailing the activity of our National Cancer Control Programme and highlights the high level of complex care delivered for our lung cancer patients.”


With over 2,000 cases of lung cancer diagnosed each year, the Mater Hospital is at the forefront of complex care services in Ireland.  Although recent figures have shown that the risk of lung cancer is falling for men, due to a long-term drop in the number of men who are smokers that same risk is still increasing for women.  In fact, although lung cancer is the second-commonest cancer in women, it is the number one cancer killer – more than breast cancer.


Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Paschal Donohoe, TD said, “I would like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work carried out by Dr. O’Callaghan and his team in the Rapid Access Lung Clinic and to thank them for the difference they are making to the lives of those who are in need of cancer treatment. While we are working towards a Tobacco Free Ireland, it’s very concerning to learn about the number of women who continue to smoke and the fact that lung cancer is the number one cancer killer among our female population. We must continue our efforts to reduce the level of smoking, especially among our younger members of society to ensure their health in later years. I welcome this, the first report of its kind from the Mater which will be of considerable benefit to the hospital and to staff working in this area.”


The Mater hospital is one of only four centres that offer curative surgery for the disease in the country. As a result of recent efforts, lung cancer is trending downwards in men but is still trending upwards in women.

“There’s still a stigma, and sometimes even a blame element, around lung cancer,” says Dr. O’Callaghan.  “Many people think that this disease is self-inflicted.  However, non-smokers can also get the disease, as can people who have stopped smoking decades ago.  Despite this, two thirds of patients who are assessed are reassured that they don’t have the disease.”