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Centralising treatment of cancer patients contributes to improving survival rates - study

A new report says that centralising the treatment of cancer patients to eight national centres has contributed to improving survival rates.

The study has been published today by the National Cancer Registry.

Since 2007, the HSE has been centralising cancer treatment at eight designated hospitals - in Cork, Waterford, Limerick, Galway and four in Dublin.

The move proved controversial in some rural areas where patients resisted having to travel longer distances for cancer care.

But in a report out today, the National Cancer Registry says patients in the eight "centres of excellence" have higher survival outcomes than those in other public hospitals even after accounting for differences like age and cancer stage.

It says patients in these centres are more likely to receive surgical treatment, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.

The report adds that other factors like improved treatments and screening have also contributed to better outcomes for cancer patients in recent years.