Cancer is a complex and serious disease that affects countless people around the world. It is an uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells that can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can be divided into different types and stages, based on where it originated in the body, how aggressive it is, and how far it has spread. Diagnosis often involves physical examination by a specialist, blood tests, imaging tests (like CT scans or MRIs), and biopsies to check for cancer cells. Treatment options vary, depending on the type, and the stage, of the cancer. Your treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or immunotherapy.
The most common types of cancer are breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, bowel cancer and skin cancer. Each type presents differently and requires different treatments based on your individual needs. Breast cancer affects the mammary glands, while lung cancer affects the lungs and airways. Prostate cancer is a malignant tumour that forms in the prostate gland of men. Bowel cancer affects the upper gastro-intestinal (GI) tract such as oesophagus and stomach, or the lower GI tract such as colon and rectum. Finally, skin cancer usually appears as unusual moles or growths on the surface of the skin. As well as these five common types, there are many other forms of this disease that can affect any part of the body.
At Blackrock Health, our three hospitals have a history of providing fast and easy access to extensive diagnostic facilities and expert medical or surgical care for patients with cancer. We have invested heavily, both in technology, and in an expert oncology team. This ensures that we can deliver cancer care, tailored to the needs of each individual patient. Our expert consultants and dedicated multidisciplinary teams are here for you. We aim to provide the most comprehensive and compassionate treatment possible in your cancer journey. We are committed to the highest standards of care and have earned a reputation as one of the leaders in the field of private oncology care in Ireland.
We understand that responding to a cancer diagnosis can be a very difficult and overwhelming process. You can trust that at Blackrock Health, we can provide you with the best possible care for your individual needs. We are dedicated to helping you explore your available treatment options and to help you make an informed decision. Thanks to advances in treatment for many cancers, long-term patient outcomes have improved in recent years.
Blackrock Health has teams of experts who work in three hospitals to help people with cancer and blood disorders. We offer screening and prevention, diagnostics, treatments, and management for many forms of cancer. This includes breast, lung, prostate, bowel, and skin cancer. Our specialists use high-tech tools to find out what kind of cancer you have and to tailor a treatment plan will best suits your diagnosis.
Across the Blackrock Health group of hospitals, we can offer you a complete and tailored cancer care service from an expert team. Depending on the hospital you attend, this may include:
Consultant medical oncologists
Consultant radiation oncologists
Palliative Care Consultants
Clinical Nurse Specialists
Medical Social Workers
Full health and social care support teams
As well as medical support, our team provide education, counselling, and other resources for anyone affected by a diagnosis. We offer care support across all aspects of cancer, from diagnosis to the management of advanced stage cancer.
We strive to make treatment and recovery as comfortable as possible. As an inpatient, you will be looked after by our multidisciplinary team in a dedicated oncology ward.
We provide complete cancer care across our three hospitals. Details of the services offered in each location will vary, and across the group we offer:
Cancer Support Services
ongoing symptom management
support via Daffodil Centre in the Hermitage Clinic
patient and family education
connection with national cancer support groups
advanced cancer care
Diagnosis, Treatment and Supports
Diagnosis and treatment of cancer is a complex process. During diagnosis, patients may undergo several tests to determine the type of cancer and extent of spread within the body. No matter what treatment path you choose, we aim to provide you with compassionate support throughout. Research into new treatments continues to provide hope for people living with cancer. Across our hospitals, we offer access to cutting-edge treatments provided by expert teams. These can help to slow the progression of the disease, or even bring about remission in some cases.
The Blackrock Health cancer care team are equipped to provide a wide range of expert treatment options. Once we confirm a diagnosis, our consultant oncologists will discuss available treatment options. Our recommendations will depend on the type and progression of your cancer. Options may include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or surgery. Our consultants may also be aware of new treatments which are being analysed in Clinical Trials. In some cases, we may suggest palliative care for people with advanced stages of cancer - to provide symptom relief and improve quality of life.
Radiotherapy is a treatment that uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. It is a common treatment for lots of different kinds of cancer. Radiotherapy can be given in different ways, like from a machine outside the body or by putting something radioactive inside the body (brachytherapy). It is used to stop cancer from growing, to shrink a tumour before surgery, or to help with symptoms caused by the cancer. You might get radiotherapy by itself or along with other treatments, like chemotherapy or surgery.
Chemotherapy (chemo) is a treatment for cancer that uses drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs go through your whole body, so they can get rid of cancer cells that might be somewhere else. Chemotherapy can be given in different ways, like through a drip, pills, or an injection. It is used to stop cancer from growing or to shrink a tumour before surgery. You might get chemo by itself or along with other treatments, like radiation or surgery. Chemo can cause some side effects, like feeling sick or tired, and there are effective medicines to help with these.
Immunotherapy is a treatment for cancer that helps your body's own immune system fight the cancer. The immune system is the body's way of fighting off infections and sickness. Immunotherapy uses special drugs to help the immune system find and attack cancer cells. Immunotherapy can be given in different ways, including by tablet, through a drip or by injection. It can cause side effects, like feeling tired or having a rash, and these can be treated.
Palliative care relieves symptoms or side effects of treatment. It aims to improve quality of life while you are receiving treatment for an illness. This care may also continue once treatment is complete. Palliative care aims to ensure your comfort while respecting your and your family's needs, values, beliefs, and culture.
You do not need to have a terminal diagnosis to receive palliative care. Palliative care aims to offer some relief from pain, discomfort, and other side effects during treatment. Palliative care can begin at any stage of treatment, from diagnosis onwards. Your oncologist may request the support of a palliative care consultant for pain management and symptom relief.
Blackrock Health hospitals offer access to a dietitian for our cancer patients. This service is open to you if you have been diagnosed with cancer, are undergoing treatment, or are in recovery.
The aim of this service is to ensure you get the best possible nutrition while undergoing or recovering from cancer treatments. Side effects caused by cancer, or its treatment can often make eating a difficult task, and we aim to support you to overcome this.
Daffodil Centre at the Hermitage Clinic
Daffodil Centres are part of the Irish Cancer Society’s information service. They are based in hospitals around the country. We host one of these services at the Hermitage Clinic.
Here, you can connect with cancer nurses and trained volunteers about any concerns you may have. They are there to listen, and to help you find the support you need. Daffodil Centres are open to all, and no GP referral or appointment is needed.
How do I get this?
You will need a referral letter from your GP or consultant before you make an appointment. Please see our Request Appointment Form here.
Is this insured?
Not all services are covered by health insurance. To find out if you're covered, please check your health insurance before your visit. You can do this on our health insurance Cover Check page here, or by contacting your health insurer.
How do I pay?
If you do not have health insurance or your health plan does not cover the full cost, you will need to pay the balance due before your treatment or procedure. You may be able to claim back some fees on your insurance. To pay an excess not covered by your insurance or any other inpatient fees, please visit our payment page here. If you have any queries about paying for your care, please contact the finance team in your hospital.