Dáil Éireann - Volume 478 - 07 May, 1997

Written Answers - Cancer Incidence.

73. Mr. Gregory asked the Minister for Health the number of children receiving treatment for forms of cancer in each of the past five years; whether there is any noticeable increase in the incidence of cancer in children; and if so, if there was any such increase in the time following the Chernobyl accident or other nuclear accidents. [12102/97]

Minister for Health (Mr. Noonan, Limerick East): There has been no noticeable trend in the number of children receiving treatment for forms of cancer over the past five years. Although there is a variance from year to year this can be attributed to the level of coverage.

Statistics on inpatient and day case admissions are collected by the Hospital Inpatient Enquiry System [HIPE]. The only readily available statistics are from HIPE. In patient coverage for 1992 was only 77 per cent but for each of the subsequent years exceeds 90 per cent. The following table shows the number of children age 0 - 14 years reported as receiving treatment for forms of cancer on an inpatient basis:

1992

1993

1994

1995

1996

238

361

348

362

324

There is no evidence to suggest any increase in cancer mortality in children due to Chernobyl or other nuclear accidents. Since a system of national cancer registration was not in place at the time of the Chernobyl accident, data on cancer incidence are not available for that period. It should be noted, however, that a national cancer registry has since been established, and its first report, relating to newly diagnosed cancers in 1994 will be published in the near future.