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SVHG Cancer Report 2020/2021 launched today at St Vincent’s University Hospital

19th December 2022

Today, 19th December, St Vincent’s University Hospital published its Cancer Report 2020/2021 on behalf of the St Vincent’s Hospital Group (SVHG). SVHG encompasses St. Vincent’s Private Hospital (SVPH), St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) and St Michael’s Hospital (SMH) supported in teaching and research by University College Dublin (UCD). The report details statistics with regard to cancer patient numbers during 2020/2021 and outlines key updates relating to the diagnosis, treatment, care and research of cancer at the Hospital Group.

St. Vincent’s University Hospital (SVUH) is a centre of excellence for cancer care, one of eight nationally designated adult cancer centres and is the nationally designated centre for neuroendocrine tumours (NET), pancreatic cancer and sarcoma. The hospital is also one of the largest providers of care for patients with breast, prostate, colorectal, lung and gynae cancer and is one of three adult stem cell transplant centres in the country.

SVUH has a long tradition of cancer research. The recent Cancer Clinical Trial Research Infrastructure Funding award to the UCD Clinical Research Centre, by the Health Research Board, will enhance and expand cancer research at the hospital.

In 2021, in order to support the delivery of the SVUH Strategic Cancer Plan and OECI accreditation, the management of cancer services was re-organised into a Cancer Directorate. The Cancer Centre Directorate is responsible for the delivery of the Cancer Strategic Plan, the Strategic Cancer Research Plan and progressing the OECI Cancer Centre Accreditation programme. From an operational perspective, this streamlines the management of cancer services and enables the hospital to better manage the increasing levels of activity, patient complexity and acuity that is forecast, primarily driven by Ireland’s growing and aging population.

Speaking at the launch, Dr. David Fennelly, Clinical Director for Cancer Care said, “I am delighted to launch the annual Cancer Report on behalf of The SVHG Cancer Directorate. It is the first step on the path to Cancer Centre Accreditation for the St. Vincent Hospital Group.”

A summary of the main findings in the St. Vincent’s Healthcare Group (SVHG) 2020/2021 Cancer Report are as follows:

Despite COVID-19 restrictions, the hospital diagnosed 4,754 patients in 2020 and 5,623 in 2021 (compared with 4,779 patients in 2019).

The number of cancer cases in 2020 was marginally lower than 2019. Driven primarily by the March/April 2020 lockdown, which saw fewer patients attending diagnostic services at the hospital,
particularly the Rapid Access Clinics for breast, prostate and lung cancers. Attendances and diagnosis picked up significantly in 2021, with diagnosed cancers up over 18% on 2019 levels
and the number of patients discussed at multidisciplinary meetings up over 9% on 2020.

Skin Cancer accounted for approximately half of all cancers diagnosed at the hospital in 2021, with breast, colorectal, lung and urological cancers accounting for another 25%.

5,669 patient referrals were received in the symptomatic breast service in 2021, 44% of which are triaged as urgent and 56% as non-urgent.

Similar patterns were observed in the rapid access prostate clinic. Prostate RAC attendances in 2020 were 72% of 2019 levels. The Lung RAC attendances were up 8% to 436 in 2020 compared to 401 attendances in 2019. In 2021, 116 prostate cancers and 203 lung cancers were diagnosed through St. Vincent’s University Hospitals Rapid Access Clinics.

The full report is available here – SVHG Cancer Report 2021

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