Minister for Health Mary Harney has said she would like to see a total ban on the use of sunbeds in Ireland to reduce the risk of cancer.

Speaking at a global cancer summit in Dublin, the minister said she has asked her department to see if such a ban is possible, as EU approval would be required.

Ms Harney said that although there will be a significant reduction in health spending next year cancer will be a priority.

The minister said that if around €400m in savings needed in staffing costs can be achieved, then salary reductions may have to be considered.

Meanwhile, the global cost of new cancer cases this year will be over €213bn, according to a report published today at a the cancer summit.

The report, commissioned by the Lance Armstrong Foundation and prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit, says there is a spending gap of over €130bn in treatment.

Read the full report

It says there will be around 12.9m new cancer cases around the world this year and cancers have already progressed to where they are incurable in 80% of patients in developing countries.

Next year cancer will be the leading cause of death around the world.

The summit is an initiative by cancer survivor and seven times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, who said major investment was needed to remove the personal pain and loss caused by cancer.

Several hundred cancer experts from around the world, as well as health ministers and heads of major corporations, are attending the three day summit in Dublin.