CANCER rates in Ireland are expected to increase by more than 50pc in the next seven years.
The Irish Cancer Society (ICS) said the increase is due to an ageing, growing population, as well as lifestyle choices.
The ICS says that 26,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and this will increase to 40,000 by 2020.
The society is calling on the Irish public to support the Dell-supported Daffodil Day today.
All money raised will fund the society's free nationwide information and support services for people with cancer and their families.
More than 4,000 volunteers are out selling fresh daffodils and daffodil pins, aiming to raise €3.4m.
Mark Mellett, ICS head of fundraising, said: "We want to see everyone wearing a daffodil pin today, showing their support for those living with cancer in Ireland.
"Unfortunately Irish cancer rates are increasing and while we expect over 26,000 people to be diagnosed with cancer this year, we estimate that, by 2020, that figure will increase to 40,000.
"This is due to an ageing and increasing population, and a general neglect of healthy lifestyle behaviour.
"This is placing a massive demand on our services, which are funded entirely through voluntary contributions.
"We have volunteers stationed all around the country ready to paint the town yellow and I hope that they get a warm reception from the public.
"Our volunteers are not paid and many take time off work to volunteer for Daffodil Day because they have been personally affected by cancer.
"But while the reason so many lend their support to Daffodil Day is an unhappy one, the day itself is fun, bright and sunny."