Focus on lung cancer early detection

A lung cancer screening program is being developed by the federal government to help fight the deadly disease.
A lung cancer screening program is being developed by the federal government to help fight the deadly disease.

THE fight against Australia’s deadliest cancer could get a significant boost from a simple screening program.

More than 9000 Aussies are expected to die from lung cancer in 2020, and experts say early detection is key to effective treatment.

Following in the footsteps of national screening programs for bowel, breast and cervical cancer, a bid to develop a lung cancer assessment plan begins on Monday.

“We know from international trials that screening for lung cancer saves lives,” Cancer Australia CEO Dorothy Keefe said.

The federal government agency is launching an inquiry to decide how the screening program is best developed.

More than 9000 Aussies are expected to die from lung cancer in 2020.

Community submissions are being accepted for the next 10 weeks to help the government develop a framework.

“The inquiry 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,” Prof Keefe said.

More than 12,000 new cases of lung cancer will be diagnosed in Australia next year.

Often the discovery comes at a time when the condition is at an advanced stage and treatment options are limited, she added.

The Lung Cancer Screening inquiry report will be provided to the federal health minister by October 2020.

More information can be found at https://canceraustralia.gov.au/about-us/lung-cancer-screening-enquiry.