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National Targeted Lung Cancer Screening Program enquiry launches

In an Australian first, Cancer Australia is convening a Workshop today in Sydney to explore the feasibility of a national targeted lung cancer screening program.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death and kills more Australians than breast and bowel cancer combined. It is estimated there will be more than 12,000 new cases of lung cancer diagnosed in Australia this year, and more than 9,000 deaths. It is estimated that there were more than 2.5 million current daily or former-smokers between the ages of 55 and 74 years in Australia in 2017-2018.

The Workshop is the first stage of an enquiry to investigate the potential for a targeted national lung cancer screening program that was announced by the Minister for Health Greg Hunt in August 2019.  

“On behalf of Cancer Australia, I am delighted to have been asked to look at prospects, process and delivery of a national targeted lung cancer screening program for Australia,” said Professor Dorothy Keefe, Cancer Australia CEO.

“This announcement recognises the growing evidence to support lung cancer screening and acknowledges the importance of continuing efforts to reduce deaths from lung cancer.”

“I look forward to making regular progress announcements though our Cancer Australia website until the enquiry concludes in October 2020 with a report delivered to Minister Hunt.”

“This announcement recognises the ongoing research into lung cancer screening and acknowledges the importance of continuing efforts to reduce deaths from lung cancer.”

The enquiry will be underpinned by a consultative and inclusive process and participants include consumers, key opinion leaders, health providers, policy makers, expert advisors and representatives from peak cancer bodies and professional colleges.

This enquiry will focus on targeted screening of high-risk groups, including consideration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and people living in rural and remote communities.  

The National Targeted Lung Cancer Screening Program enquiry will establish the evidence-informed foundation for targeted lung cancer screening including the benefits and harms of screening, cost effectiveness, initial scoping of the target population and understanding the screening and assessment pathway.