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Lung Cancer Screening enquiry

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Lung Cancer Screening Enquiry

Earlier stage at diagnosis is associated with improved lung cancer outcomes, including survival.

Welcome to the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry information centre.
Here you will find information, news and updates about the enquiry. You will also be able to find out more about how you can provide your input to the enquiry.

On 1 August 2019, the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, invited Cancer Australia to conduct an enquiry into the prospects, process and delivery of a National Lung Cancer Screening Program in Australia.

The announcement recognised the ongoing research into lung cancer screening and acknowledged the importance of continuing efforts to reduce deaths from lung cancer.

Cancer Australia is adopting an evidence-based approach to undertake the enquiry, underpinned by a consultative process.

Cancer Australia held a Lung Cancer Screening Workshop on 18 September 2019.  The workshop brought together consumers, key opinion leaders, health providers, policy makers, expert advisors and representatives from peak cancer bodies and professional colleges.  The key outcomes of the workshop can be found here.

During the conduct of the enquiry, new information will be available on this information centre.   

Why is the enquiry being held?

The enquiry is being held to investigate the feasibility for a national targeted lung cancer screening program and to develop a report to the Minister for Health on the prospects, process and delivery of targeted lung cancer screening in Australia.

Early diagnosis of lung cancer is critical to improve outcomes, with more than 50% of lung cancer cases being diagnosed at an advanced stage. Lung cancer is:

  • a common cancer in Australia, accounting for 8.9% of all new cancer cases diagnosed in 2019,
  • the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, accounting for 18.9% of all cancer deaths
  • a cancer of low survival, with a 5 year survival rate of 17%, compared with a 5 year survival rate of 69% for all cancers (Cancer Australia 2019).

International and national research continues into the feasibility of both population and targeted risk screening for other cancers, including for lung cancer.

What will the enquiry consider?

Cancer Australia has developed a phased approach to the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry.

The prospects phase will appraise national and international evidence on the benefit and harms of lung cancer screening, target population groups, and cost effectiveness.

The process phase will consider the design of a national targeted lung cancer screening program for the Australian setting.

The delivery phase will consider how to effectively implement such a screening program in Australia.

The enquiry will consider issues including:

  • The context of lung cancer in Australia
  • Benefits and harms of lung cancer screening
  • Cost effectiveness of targeted lung cancer screening in Australia
  • Who the target population might be
  • The clinical screening and assessment pathway and workforce capacity
  • Use of technology
  • Recruitment and access to screening in hard-to-reach target groups
  • Communication needs for the community, screening participants and health professionals.

The enquiry will also consider the critical role of research in improving health care treatment and outcomes and ways in which to incorporate new and emerging research into an adaptive program. 

When will the enquiry report be delivered?

The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry report will be submitted to the Minister for Health in October 2020.

How will Cancer Australia engage with our stakeholders?

Cancer Australia is committed to engaging and consulting with all stakeholders throughout the conduct of the enquiry. 

Key stakeholders include the Australian community, people affected by cancer, health professionals, clinical colleges, researchers and research institutes, cancer organisations, peak bodies and government (all jurisdictions and representative bodies, such as the National Cancer Expert Reference Group).

Engaging with targeted population groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, rural and remote and culturally and linguistically diverse communities will be a key focus of the enquiry.

Have your say

Public consultation will be open through the Department of Health Consultation Hub website from December 2019 to February 2020.

Contact

Cancer Australia has established a dedicated Lung Cancer Screening enquiry email inbox if you want to contact us directly lungcancerscreening@canceraustralia.gov.au.