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The National Cancer Screening Programmes Ireland Essay Sample 

The following essay sample work shall highlight the National Cancer Screening Programme in Ireland, the pros and cons of cancer screening, challenges of cancer screening, and finally conclusion.

The National Cancer Screening Programme was first established by the Minister of Health and Children in the year 2007. This was first launched with a strategy of controlling cancer in Ireland with the help of a cancer control policy program in Ireland.

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This strategy was used for the prevention, detection, screening, treatment, and management of cancer in Ireland and is recommended to the Board of the National Screening Service.

The screening service is a part of Health Service Executive which divides screening programs into four categories:-

  • The National Breast Screening Programme.
  • The National Cervical Screening Programme.
  • The National Bowel Screening Programme.
  • The National Diabetic Retinal Screening Programme.

This screening program for cancer can reduce the mortality and morbidity rate in the Irish population with the help of early detection of disease and treatment in the early stage.

A screening test is usually designed for people who have no symptoms of disease ensuring an early treatment for the same. It is meant for also those people who have the risk of the disease and can easily follow its progress.

This screening program in Ireland is based on the calling system where the eligible people are invited to take participate in the clinical services which are provided for further investigation and treatment of people with the risk of developing this disease.

These screening programs in Ireland aim at balancing the benefits of screening. The public health providers deliver integrated services along with the management flow of information of patients between the National Cancer Control Programme and the National Cancer Registry.

Pros and Cons of Cancer Screening 

The screening of cancer has both harms and benefits associated with it. Understanding both pros and cons of screening can help an individual to decide whether to get the screening done or not.

Pros of Screening

  • Screening helps in the early detection of cancer and makes the treatment more effective on the body of a person as immunity has not decreased so far yet. It can easily help in surviving the life of a person.
  • Screening of cervical can help in the early detection of any abnormal changes which can help to prevent developing cancer in the first stage itself.

Cons of Screening 

  • Screening can even show negative results or even cannot detect the signs or symptoms easily especially if the screening is done recently.
  • The process of screening leads to abnormal results even if the person does not have cancer. This can make the situation very stressful and anxious. It can raise the personal expenses of a person to get follow-up tests in the hospital which in turn may have other side effects.
  • Screening can even pick up those concerns which are not harmful to a person and where treatment is unnecessary and symptoms do not arise as a result of it.
  • Tests can have their own risks or side effects that may cause pain, unnatural bleeding, and infections.

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Challenges of Cancer Screening Programme

Screening of cancer is meant for the early detection of symptoms of the disease so that early treatment is given to the patients. It helps in reducing the risk of an advanced disease that is being associated with mortality and morbidity.

  • Designing, managing, evaluating national screening strategies is a big concern or challenge as such programs require governance, accountability, reporting, and a regular appraisal of the staff.
  • For any screening to be effective it needs to use standardized treatment but this process does sometimes give false-positive results increasing the cost of testing. Regular screening for colon, breast, cervical, and bowel is done through various programs.
  • Breast cancer screening results in an almost 40% mortality rate in cancer and a decrease in the life expectancy in younger women. An ultrasound and mammography screening can detect falsely at times.

The risks associated with this are anxiety, false negatives, biopsy, fear, additional imaging, etc. There is also a risk of false-positive and overdiagnosis which can result in unnecessary treatment of a person.

  • The cervical cancer screening process includes colposcopy and biopsy which can lead to feelings of fear, anxiety, pain, infection, bleeding and weakening of the cervix which can increase the risk of preterm birth. Over 50% of Irish women didn’t have proper screening done of their cervix.
  • Many complications are also very much associated with prostate biopsy or screening. These are acute urinary retention, urinary tract infection, rectal bleeding, hematospermia, etc.
  • There are complications that are faced during the screening of colorectal cancer. The screening increases the risks of bleeding and perforations.
  • There are other barriers to the cancer screening process includes occupational status, culture, lack of awareness, language, lack of time, religious beliefs and transportation, etc.


Cancer screening is a systematic and organized process or system which requires high delivery of screening, an appropriate risk assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and communicating screening expectations. Screening must be made available to every person as it helps in reducing the rate of mortality and morbidity. The general public must be made aware of the risks and benefits of screening with the aid of these screening programs.

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The above essay sample mentions the various aspects of cancer screening and the National Cancer Screening Programme in Ireland.

Healthcare QQI Level 5, Social Care QQI Level 5, Careskills QQI Level 5, Careskills and Care of the Older Person QQI Level 5, Medical Terminology and Administrative Course QQI Level 5students can read this sample to gain professional knowledge on the healthcare programs in Ireland.

We have many Medical Science and Nursing Assignments, Palliative Care Learner Record, Care Provision essays, and holistic care for cancer patients. These assignments can be read along with this essay sample to enhance the knowledge on this topic.

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