Donegal Action for Cancer Care
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Donegal Action for Cancer Care


Mission Statement:
“Equal Access for Equal Need”

The primary aim of DACC is to ensure the people of Donegal have access to world class cancer services whilst ensuring the retention and development of all cancer services at 

         Letterkenny General Hospital.

    Central to DACC is best practice quality care for cancer patients. 

Contact DACC- Email:   Telephone: 00 353 74 91 28 400

DACC Book “Cancer-You Are Not Alone”

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a practical information book about cancer, written by cancer patients for cancer patients.

For a free copy please phone Noel A Coyle on 085 174 1869

or email and Noel will arrange to get you your copy.

DACC also have a wide range of cancer books which can also be got through Noel.

The book “Cancer-You Are Not Alone” which was produced by The Action Strategy Sub Committee of DACC, with financial assistance from the Citizens Information Board, provides a common source of information for cancer patients, their families and friends. The information is presented in common everyday language that makes it easy to read and understand.The book was written to help people understand and cope with the journey from diagnosis through to treatment and onwards to recovery. It will help them understand the changes that can happen in their life and assist them and their family to deal with their feelings about cancer. The book also provides useful tips and hints provided by medical experts and also by people who have already travelled this road and who can share the experience with others.The book outlines the considerable supports, financial and other, that are available and in general terms gives information as to how these can be availed of by providing contact information. Cancer- You Are Not Alone” is a major step towards providing that much needed information for cancer patients, from one source, in clear understandable language.

While the book is primarily aimed at Donegal patients, it will be useful to patients nationwide. The book is free of charge.

DACC would like to acknowledge the support through funding of the

Citizens Information logo



DACC wish to inform people who are experiencing financial difficulty due to illness or other unexpected cases of family hardship of the following funding.

DACC advise there is financial support is available through the Irish Cancer Society &

The Marie Keating Foundation.

The Hardship Fund - this is accessed through the Irish Cancer Society & the hospital that you are attending .

Irish Cancer Society / National Cancer Control Programme
Partnership Transport Grant Scheme- Travel to Care Programme

The Marie Keating Foundation Comfort Fund

Contact must be made by the individual to the Irish Cancer Society- they will phone you back is you have worries about the cost of the call.


Financial support for cancer patients

If you are in immediate difficulty DACC advise you to contact St Vincent De Paul who can offer help & support

By phoning St Vincent de Paul at the number below they can put you in contact with your local branch.

Society of St Vincent De Paul
North West Meeting Hse Street Raphoe
Donegal, Co. Donegal
074 91 73 933


For information on The Oncology Department at Letterkenny General Hospital DACC invite you to click on the link

DACC wish to remind people of Patient Support available from Oncology Liaison Nurse -

A Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS through the Irish Cancer Society

Donegal - Letterkenny General Hospital Tel: 074 9123 525

Sligo - Sligo General Hospital Tel: 071 917 4696

A diagnosis of cancer has a profound effect on patients and their families. To help people at this difficult time and throughout their treatment, the Irish Cancer Society funds a specific type of hospital based nurse specialist, called an Oncology Liaison Nurse. The Oncology Liaison Nurse is not involved in hands-on nursing care; rather they are there to give information and reassurance during the cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Oncology liaison nurses are a valuable channel of communication between the oncology team and their patients, as often patients may be too fearful or overwhelmed to voice a particular worry or concern that they may have. The Oncology Liaison Nurse is there to provide emotional and practical support and advice to the patient and to their family. These nurses are experienced cancer specialists who contribute to the overall management of a patient, by working as part of the oncology team and liasing with the family. Twenty-six Oncology Liaison Nurses are now working in this service, which provides psychological support to patients in the following major cancer treatment centres.

Account of An Oncology Liaison Nurse:

  • "My role is one of support during diagnosis of cancer and throughout subsequent treatment. I also provide an extra channel of communication between the patient, their family, and the Oncologist. This helps to ensure that both patient and family understand exactly what lies ahead. In many cases I can help to answer questions and help to alleviate unnecessary fears. I believe that by giving people information, time and support, there is a real benefit for the patient’s psychological and emotional health, both during hospitalisation and at later on at home."Oncology Liason Nurse, St. Lukes Hospital


Donegal Action for Cancer Care (DACC) are asking women aged 50- 64 years of age, if you have not yet been called for your free BreastCheck mammogram to make sure that you are on the


Breast Check register by calling

Freephone 1800 45 45 55 or

checking online at

By having your mammogram the live you save could be your own.

Do not ignore your appointment.

To view BreastCheck- Commitment to Disability DACC invite you to click on this link below please


Breast Centre North West ( Breast Cancer Unit) at Letterkenny General Hospital.

Letterkenny General Hospital has an excellent guide for patients booklet for those visiting the Symptomatic Breast Clinic. It includes practical information on what happens at the clinic. It is available from the LGH. This booklet was prepared by the National Cancer Control Programme in consultation with alth care professionals and people who have attended a symptomatic breast service.

DACC invite you to view the booklet by clicking on the link below please

The unit/clinic is fully up and running and includes digital mammography and ultrasound equipment, provided by the Breast Check programme. It is staffed by the Consultant Surgeon, Oncologist, Radiologist and Breast Care Nurses. Sean Murphy, the hospital's General Manager says staff are committed to the development of breast cancer services in Donegal, in conjunction with the region's designated Cancer Centre at University College Hospital, Galway. "We are determined to ensure that our patients' experience of the breast service here is first class and I believe that our new unit is an important step in that effort." Dec.08

DACC wish to advise of Key Contacts at the Breast Centre North West, Letterkenny General Hospital

Appointment Enquires

If you have a query in relation to your clinic appointment please contact our breast appointments secretary

Monday – Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm.

You may leave a voice message outside of these hours and your call will be returned.

Breast Clinic Appointments (074) 91 23737

Breast Care Secretary (074) 91 88823

Breast Care Nurse (074) 91 88843 b

Breast Care Data Manager (074) 91 23735


National Breast Cancer Helpline (1800 30 90 40)

For information on the Irish Cancer Society, DACC ask you to please click on link


DACC are calling on all women in the appropriate age group 25-60 years of age to remind them of the importance of having a free Cervical Smear or if you have had yours, to make sure your family & friends have theirs.

Regular cervical screening stops cervical cancer before it starts.

DACC invite you to read article Regular screening stops cervical cancer by clicking on this link please

If you are in the above age group and have not had a smear DACC ask that you click on the link below to find a smeartaker in your area and then arrange to have your free smear.

Registered smeartakers

Remember the life you save could be your own!

CervicalCheck - The National Cervical Screening Programme provides free smear tests to women aged 25 to 60. A smear test is a simple procedure that only takes minutes and is the most effective way to detect changes in the cells of the cervix.

DACC invite you to download information flyer on Your Free Smear Test click on this link below

Cervical Check ogo


DACC are delighted that concerns they raised to The National Cancer Screening Service have now been addressed regarding difficulties women with disabilities were having not being able to access their Cervical Smear. This was raised in our submission and again as part of the workshop we attended in Dublin on 11th March regarding “Hard to Reach Populations/ Marginalized Populations ”

CervicalCheck Access Officer

CervicalCheck has appointed Dr Marian O' Reilly as Access Officer. She can arrange extra help for people with disabilities who use CervicalCheck's information and services. The Disability Act 2005 requires every public body to have at least one Access Officer. If you need help to use CervicalCheck's information and services you can contact Dr Marian O' Reilly by phone at (061) 4613900 or by sending an email to

To read the report received the 7th July DACC invite you to click on this link below please

Participant Summary Report doc final doc 7 July MC (2)(3)


DACC support campaign to Get Men Talking about health

A new campaign aimed at getting men talking about their health has been launched by the Marie Keating Foundation. The campaign has been launched as part of the Foundation’s annual Men’s Health Month, which takes place every March. Currently in Ireland, one in nine Irish men is at risk of developing prostate cancer, one in 19 is at risk of developing bowel cancer and one in 205 is at risk in relation to testicular cancer.As part of the ‘Get Men Talking’ campaign, a new website,, has been developed to specifically focus on cancer. Tools on the site include an ‘ask the expert’ section, a discussions area and general information on different types of cancer. Posted: Tue 02/03/2010 by Deborah Condon] Courtesy of Irish Health


For more on The Marie Keating Foundation   mkf_logo  DACC ask you to click on this link below

DACC are calling on all men to develop relationships with their GP’s regarding their own health.

It is not necessary to have “something wrong” with you to attend your GP. Men, we ask that you take the time to have a health check up, there is nothing your GP has not heard or seen before!

DACC invite men to get more information by checking out the Men’s Health Manual from the Irish Cancer Society

please click on


DACC- working to ensure we have adequate Prostate Cancer services in Donegal for our men.

DACC invite men to learn more about Prostate Cancer by clicking on this link

DACC invite you to find out more about National Prostate Cancer GP referral guidelines by clicking on the link below please


The Irish Times - Thursday, February 10, 2011

Up to 40% sent to prostate cancer clinic had disease EITHNE DONNELLAN, Health Correspondent

  • NEARLY 40 per cent of men referred by GPs to rapid access clinics set up in the past year by the national cancer control programme to ensure swift diagnosis of prostate cancer were found to have the disease.Some 1,594 men were referred to the clinics during 2010 and more than 600 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer.Once referred to rapid access clinics, which are now located in each of the State’s eight designated cancer centres, patients must be seen within two weeks, thus ensuring an early diagnosis. Before the clinics opened patients could have waited months to be seen by a specialist after getting a GP referral.Rapid access clinics for the diagnosis of lung cancer – which is often only diagnosed at late stage disease – have also been established in seven of the eight designated centres, with the eighth one to be opened shortly at Galway University Hospital.
  • Some 426 patients were referred to these clinics last year and 185 of them or 43 per cent of those referred were diagnosed with lung cancer.
  • The figures were confirmed by Dr Susan O’Reilly, the new director of the State’s cancer control programme, yesterday. She said the percentages being diagnosed with cancer after referral to the rapid access clinics was very high.In Galway nearly half the men seen at the rapid access clinic for prostate cancer diagnosis had the disease.Early diagnosis was very important, she stressed, as she urged people who may have persistent symptoms to see their doctor.Meanwhile, she said it would take 10 to 15 years before Ireland will see the benefits of improvements being made in cancer services, including its screening programmes.



“Health Facts for Men” Leaflet Available

In mid-June 2010, the Meath Primary Health Care Project for Travellers launched a new leaflet on “Health Facts for Men”. Although this leaflet was designed to meet the needs of Traveller men, it contains a lot of useful information for all males. It is now available for downloading from the Men’s Health Forum in Ireland website as a Publisher 2007 file at: and in Word format at: (please note that these files are very large). For further information, contact the Meath Primary Health Care Project for Travellers at Tel 046 9071679 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 046 9071679 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or Finian Murray (Men’s Health Development Officer) at Tel: 046 9280644 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 046 9280644 end_of_the_skype_highlighting ( Courtesy of Donegal Workers Co-op Bulletin)



Four in ten people in Ireland not aware not aware of signs or symptoms of Bowel Cancer


DACC invite you to learn more from the Irish Cancer Society by clicking on the link below


Irish Cancer Society News Date: 12 Jan 2011
Lung Cancer Awareness Campaign
Lung cancer patients should now be seen by specialist within two weeks of referral
Comedian Des Bishop Launches Irish Cancer Society’s Lung Cancer Awareness Campaign 2011

National Cancer Helpline
Freefone 1800 200 700 today for confidential advice and information about any cancer.

The outlook for the diagnosis and treatment of lung cancer in Ireland is now much more positive with a clear diagnosis and treatment plan in place for patients. At the launch of its 2011 lung cancer awareness campaign, the Irish Cancer Society outlined how the publication of referral guidelines for GPs and setting up of rapid access clinics in the eight designated cancer centres (see note 1 below) means that patients are being diagnosed faster and start treatment sooner. As part of the HSE Service Plan 2011, the aim under the National Cancer Control Programme is that 95% of all patients who attend the rapid access clinic will be offered an appointment within two weeks of referral (see note 2).


New online surgery to help smokers quit

The online surgery - - is open every day until Friday from 12pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 9pm. It is supported by Pfizer.

Most smokers have tried to quit the habit a number of times and failed. However for this week only, an innovative ‘online GP surgery' is hoping to help some of those quit the habit for good. The online surgery is open until Friday, November 12. There are two sessions each day and during these sessions, a GP will answer questions from a smoker via a private instant messaging conversation. The conversation is between the smoker and GP only - nobody else will be able to view the exchange, ensuring patient confidentiality. The GP will be able to offer advice on the issues raised by the smoker, discuss potential treatment options available and refer the patient to the most appropriate source of help."Many smokers recognise the harmful effects of smoking and want to stop, but stopping smoking is a very difficult thing to do and can often take several attempts."I urge people to avail of this free service and seek professional advice on how to quit, as it has been shown that getting help from a doctor or other healthcare professional can double a person's chances of beating nicotine addiction," said Dublin GP, Dr Ronan Donohoe, who is involved in the online surgery.The online surgery - - is open every day until Friday from 12pm to 3pm and from 6pm to 9pm. It is supported by Pfizer. An estimated 7,000 people die every year as a result of smoking-related illnesses.[Posted: Tue 09/11/2010 by Deborah Condon -]




March 15, 2011

Director of the National Cancer Control Programme has congratulated the Donegal Public Health Nurses who have become the first nursing group to graduate from the new Community Oncology Education Programme.The nurses will become the first nurses nationally to deliver a specific range of cancer services to patients in their own homes.Acknowledging the important role of nurses in the delivery of cancer services, Dr Susan O’Reilly said she was impressed by the depth of knowledge and experience of oncology nurses in Ireland – drawing comparisons with international experience and noting that Irish nurses were on a par with the best in the world.Expressing her delight in making her first formal visit to the NCCP satellite cancer unit in Letterkenny, Dr O’Reilly stressed the important link between the designated cancer centres and the communities they serve.

For the NCCP, this new community oncology education programme is a key component in the development of cancer services in the community.According to Dr Marie Laffoy, Community Oncology Advisor with the NCCP – “We know that most patients, where possible, prefer to receive treatment at home. Where it is safe and appropriate for this to occur we are working to make that happen. “A major objective of the HSE is to integrate health care between the community and hospital services. HSE structures have been reconfigured in an effort to achieve this priority. This way of working will enable the best possible coordination of patient care, whereby all health personnel who treat a patient, work together to ensure the best possible patent outcome.“It is a priority for the HSE to maximise its available resources to the advantage of patient care and outcomes. This includes the conversion of inpatient work to day case work; a focus on reducing patient length of stay in acute hospitals; the implementation of hospital avoidance strategies and the provision of more services in community settings thus reducing the dependency on inpatient beds.”The NCCP is working in partnership with the HSE Office for Nursing and Midwifery Services, acute hospitals, primary care and community care settings to deliver a safe and seamless medical oncology service to adult oncology patients. Some oncology patient care can be safely provided in the community setting.

DACC invite you to read full article by clicking on this link please


DACC want to remind you that-

Politicans and Governments come and go


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has” Anthropologist Margaret Mead 1901-1978


A Bend In The Road

When we feel we have nothing left to give

and we are sure that the song has ended,
When our day seems over and the shadows fall
and the darkness of night has descended,
Where can we go to find the strength
to valiantly keep on trying?
Where can we find the hand that will dry
the tears that the heart is crying?

There's but one place to go and that is to God,
and dropping all pretense and pride,
We can pour out our problems without restraint
and gain strength with Him at our side.
And together we stand at life's crossroads
and view what we think is the end.

But God has a much bigger vision,
and He tells us it's only a bend,
For the road goes on and is smoother,
and the pause in the song is a rest,
And the part that's unsung and unfinished
is the sweetest and richest and best.

So rest and relax and grow stronger
let go and let God share your load.
Your work is not finished or ended

you've just come to a bend in the road.

Helen Steiner Rice

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