With over 60% of diagnosed people in Ireland now surviving cancer for five years or longer, the Irish Cancer Society National Conference addressed the needs of the growing numbers of cancer survivors who are looking to access vital information and support around the effects of a cancer diagnosis.
To mark its golden anniversary, the Irish Cancer Society held a two day milestone conference in Dublin's Aviva Stadium entitled Living Well with Cancer, bringing together over 800 cancer survivors, including many from Cavan, for the first time.
The survival rates for those diagnosed with cancer in Ireland have greatly improved in recent years. Between 1994 and 1999, five year survival rates in Irish females were 52 per cent compared to 61.5% between 2005 and 2009. Increases in male survival rates have been even larger with five year survival at 42% from 1994 to 1999 compared to 60% between 2005 and 2009.
The Irish Cancer Society National Conference for Cancer Survivorship featured practical information on treatment advances, dealing with fatigue, exercise and diet as well as looking at the emotional and psychological effects of cancer.
Olwyn Ryan, patient support services manager at the Irish Cancer Society said: “We were delighted to welcome such high numbers of cancer survivors to this empowering conference for cancer survivorship, including survivors from Cavan. The conference looked at the physical side effects of treatment which often last long after the cancer has been beaten and highlighted the many psychological and emotional challenges which cancer survivors face every day. While cancer survival rates are improving, we need to recognise the issues which cancer patients can be left with after the illness itself has gone.
"The aim of the conference was to enable survivors to engage with each other as well as with Irish and International experts in the field of cancer who were attending, with a view to helping cancer survivors and their families learn new mechanisms of living after cancer.”