Regional Cancer Services for Breast Cancer

Hospital GroupCancer Centre
RCSIBeaumont University Hospital
Ireland EastMater University Hospital 
 St Vincent’s University Hospital
Dublin MidlandsSt James’s University Hospital 
South/SouthwestCork University Hospital
 Waterford Regional Hospital 
Saolta UniversityGalway University Hospital  (satellite: Letterkenny General Hospital)
University LimerickUniversity Hospital Limerick

Supports and Services

Many of the Cancer Support groups around the country have a number of complementary courses and programmes to encourage fitness, mindfulness, and moving on programmes for cancer patients. Most will have information on hair/wigs, bra/prothesis, financial information and possible entitlements as well as complementary therapies.

For a list of support service for cancer patients around Ireland

Cancer support services in Ireland

Health supports

The HSE medical advice for cancer patients is:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Have a low intake of saturated fat and alcohol

We would encourage you to contact the nearest cancer support centre to see what is on offer to help you stay fit and healthy during and after treatment.

For healthy eating and nourishing recipe ideas, the Healthy Eating for Cancer Survivors is a great resource to help you get inspired in the kitchen.

Below are some groups and links to encourage healthy living and staying active. Exercise is a key element in supporting cancer treatment, recovering and thriving.

  • Cork Dragons – Dragon Boat Team set up in 2012 to support women diagnosed with breast cancer and men as numbers as numbers of men diagnosed is increasing.
  • The Plurabelle Paddlers – based in Grand Canal Dock central Dublin. The only criteria is that you have been diagnosed with breast cancer and be at least 3 months post-treatment.
  • Survive & Thrive – Marie Keating Foundation 
  • Strides for Life Exercise programme – Garry Kelly Centre 

Financial supports

You might be eligible for financial support for travel or you can avail of the Volunteer Driver Services available. Check the Irish Cancer Society Web site.

Hair, Brows & other support services

Treatments that include chemotherapy may result in hair loss, more specifically the drugs typically used to treat Breast cancer. Some renters provide what’s called a Cold cap, basically a cap that you wear tight fitting to the scalp, it’s connected to a machine that chills the cap and the scalp area, this can reduce hair loss, but note that it is not always effective depending on the drug regime, therefore please ensure to consult your oncology team to discuss.

Should you need a hairpiece, there are a wide range of shops around the country specialising in various products made from either synthetic hair, real hair or combinations. Holders of a medical card likely have wig cost covered. Health insurance companies typically cover 50%, but check your specific plan for details. A short list of some webpages

Brows: If affected by hair loss, this tends to be all body hair. Not everyone looses all hair or eyebrows, it’s very much treatment dependent, your team will advise likelihood. If you do, loose eyebrow hair and eyelashes, this can be particularly difficult. Learning to create your own eyebrows with pencil can provide opportunity to try different looks/brow styles and get creative! Some choose to have their eyebrows tattooed prior to starting Chemo. Note: ensure to review with your oncology team if thinking of brow tattoo during chemo as risk of infection is high and there may only be a few days between treatments that would be suitable. Microblade artists differ in experience and quality of work, review review review your chosen artist as microblading will last 1-2 years, so you want to get it right.

Bras, prosthesis, swimwear: For women who have single or double mastectomy, you are entitled to a prosthesis and two mastectomy bras free of charge. There are a range of shops which provide fitting services around the country. Mastectomy bras can also be sourced in M&S and a lot of swimwear have pockets for inserts.

Upcoming events

Virtual Webinar September 30th Speaker from USA Steffi Oesterreich and Precision Oncology Ireland.

BRA – Breast Reconstruction Awareness day Usually in October at the Mater Hospital, not sure during Covid.   https://www.mariekeating.ie/events/breast-reconstruction-awareness-day-bra-16-october-2019/

Links to other Breast Cancer Organisations