Skip to main content

News and updates

First stakeholder workshop 18 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.

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

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.