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Update on the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry - 20 May 2020

At the invitation of the Minister for Health, Cancer Australia is undertaking a Lung Cancer Screening enquiry to investigate the prospects, process and delivery of a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer in Australia.

The enquiry is being undertaken in three phases; the prospects phase will consider national and international evidence and requirements to support a lung cancer screening program, the process phase will consider the design of a national targeted lung cancer screening program, and the delivery phase will consider how to effectively implement such a screening program in Australia. Each phase of the enquiry has key activities with phases being undertaken in parallel and all underpinned by a stakeholder engagement strategy (see figure 1).

Figure 1: Lung Cancer Screening enquiry approach
Lung Cancer Screening enquiry approach

An evidence review has been undertaken to understand the prospects of a targeted lung cancer screening program using low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) in Australia. The evidence review involves understanding the benefits and harms of LDCT screening, cost-effectiveness, the target population, and the key elements and framework required for the effective delivery of a targeted lung cancer screening program in Australia.

The process and delivery phase of the enquiry and consists of three main aspects. The first aspect is the design of a targeted screening and assessment pathway. The second aspect is currently underway and will describe the elements to operationalise the pathway, including recruitment approaches, information and communication needs, and workforce and infrastructure requirements. The third aspect is the design of a framework for effective delivery of a targeted lung cancer screening program in Australia.

The evidence review, screening and assessment pathway and framework components will inform the economic evaluation of the enquiry, which is currently underway. The economic evaluation aims to understand the cost effectiveness and economic costs and outcomes of a targeted lung cancer screening program.

Stakeholder engagement underpins the enquiry. Cancer Australia undertook public consultation via the Department of Health’s Consultation Hub between December 2019 and February 2020. The Public Consultation asked for views and input across all sectors of the Australian community about the feasibility of a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. Feedback provided to Cancer Australia suggested considering a wide range of factors across many sectors of the Australian community and the health system. Public consultation submissions and input from stakeholders were detailed and we thank the community for this feedback. Cancer Australia is considering all feedback received. For further information see the LCSE Consultation hub.

Cancer Australia will submit a report on the prospects, process and delivery of a national targeted lung cancer screening program in Australia to the Minister for Health by October 2020.

Update on stakeholder management - February 2020

The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry Consultation Hub has now closed.

The Stakeholder engagement period will continue from February to May 2020 through targeted stakeholder consultations. Stakeholder submissions about the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry can be emailed to lungcancerscreening@canceraustralia.gov.au up until 29 May 2020. 

The stakeholder engagement phase will conclude on 29 May 2020. 

Last chance to have your say on the Cancer Australia Lung Cancer Screening enquiry - January 2020

The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry Consultation Hub will close on Monday 17 February 2020, so don’t miss the opportunity to give Cancer Australia your feedback.

The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry is being held to investigate the feasibility for a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer. This will include a review of national and international evidence on the benefits and harms of lung cancer screening, target population groups, and the design and effective implementation of a national lung cancer screening program in the Australian setting.

Cancer Australia welcomes views and input from all members of the community. Please visit the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry Consultation Hub by 17 February 2020 to have your say.

Follow us on Twitter @CancerAustralia get all the news and updates on the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry.  

Australians invited to have their say on a national lung cancer screening program - December 2019

On 9 December 2019 Cancer Australia announced it is seeking input and submissions from all Australians via an online Consultation Hub to assist in an enquiry into the prospects, process and delivery of a national lung cancer screening program for people at high risk of lung cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia. It is estimated there will be more than 12,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed this year and more than 9,000 deaths from the disease. It is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when treatment options are limited, leading to poor outcomes.

Cancer Australia CEO Professor Dorothy Keefe said that early diagnosis of lung cancer was critical to improving outcomes.

“There are currently three national screening programs for cancer in Australia and they are for bowel, breast and cervical cancers, all of which have better survival than lung cancer,” said Professor Keefe.

“We know from international trials that screening for lung cancer saves lives. Through the new Lung Cancer Screening enquiry Consultation Hub, input from the public will help Cancer Australia consider the design of a possible program for the Australian setting.”

“This is why we are urging all Australians from every sector with an interest in lung cancer to have their say and contribute to the Lung Cancer Screening enquiry,” said Professor Keefe.

“The enquiry will look at the feasibility, design, cost-effectiveness and implementation of a national lung cancer screening program, including the benefits and harms of screening and which people should be screened, how often, and with which test.”

The Consultation Hub will be open for submissions for 10 weeks from 9 December 2019 – 17 February 2020. The Hub will include a series of questions to seek feedback from members of the public, people affected by cancer, health professionals, clinical colleges, researchers and research institutes, cancer organisations, peak bodies and governments.

Cancer Australia is committed to undertaking an inclusive and broad-ranging consultation to gain input from the Australian community; including people and population groups in rural and remote areas, vulnerable population groups, and people from non-English speaking backgrounds. Specific communications strategies will seek input from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Cancer Australia will be undertaking stakeholder consultation workshops throughout the enquiry, including workshops with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health professionals and communities in early 2020.

Cancer Australia was invited in August 2019 by Minister for Health Greg Hunt to conduct the enquiry. The Lung Cancer Screening enquiry report will be provided to the Minister for Health no later than October 2020.
 

First stakeholder workshop - September 2019 

Cancer Australia convened a lung cancer screening stakeholder engagement workshop on 18 September 2019 to provide an opportunity for key stakeholders to engage with Cancer Australia on the proposed approach to the enquiry into targeted lung cancer screening.

The workshop brought together consumers, key opinion leaders, health providers, policy makers, expert advisors and representatives from peak cancer bodies and professional colleges.

The purpose of the workshop was to seek stakeholder input into the proposed approach to the enquiry into a national targeted lung cancer screening.

In the course of Workshop discussions, three cross-cutting key themes regularly emerged as being critically important to guide all facets of the enquiry:

  • The patient must be at the centre of any lung cancer screening program and the Lung Cancer Screening Program’s design must reflect this.
  • The Program faces challenges in engaging difficult-to-reach target groups that include people living in rural and remote regions, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, culturally and linguistically diverse people and those from socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Key to success is consistency and standardisation of quality across the Program, including of access to low-dose CT (LDCT) scans, reporting and follow up.

These themes have helped to identify where targeted consultation is required and where Cancer Australia must engage the expertise of stakeholders throughout.