The National Screening Service was established by the Minister for Health and Children in January 2007. The establishment followed the launch of a Strategy for Cancer Control in Ireland 2006 ,which advocates a comprehensive cancer control policy programme in Ireland.

The National Screening Service encompasses the following free testing programmes:

BreastCheck – The National Breast Screening Programme, is a Government-funded programme that provides free mammograms to eligible women on an area by area basis every two years.  All  women aged 50 to 69 are eligible and will be invited for routine screening.

CervicalCheck – The National Cervical Screening Programme, is a Government- funded programme that provides free cervical screening for women aged 25 – 60 to test and looks to see if you might be at greater risk of developing cervical cancer in the future.

BowelScreen – The National Bowel Screening Programme is delivered by the National Screening Service. Bowel screening aims to find bowel cancer at an early stage in people who have no symptoms. Bowel screening is a simple home test

Genetic testing 

Some families have an inherited gene that can increase the risk of developing certain types of cancer. There are tests available to test for these inherited genes. This is called cancer genetic testing. Cancer genetic testing is available in Ireland at the following locations:

Mater Private Dublin

  • 01 885 8433

Our Lady’s Hospital Crumlin

  • (01) 409 6739

St James’s Hospital Genetic Unit

  • 01 4103000

The aim of this service is to identify individuals with a genetic predisposition to cancer through genetic testing and to promote the prevention or early diagnosis of cancer in individuals with an increased risk of cancer due to an inherited cause.


If you have a question about cancer, or what to do if you’re thinking about getting tested,  you can  get in contact with the Marie Keating Foundation through

our Ask the Nurse service.


If you have been diagnosed with the BRCA gene or another form of genetic cancer, you can also contact one of our  nurses for support and advice.