Expert advice on lung cancer screening

Date published:

October 13, 2022

Type of support:

Press release


General public

The Australian government has received advice on a national lung cancer screening program from the Independent Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).

Cancer Australia, the government’s lead cancer agency, has launched an application to MSAC for a national lung cancer screening program alongside other Australian cancer screening programs such as those in the breast, cervix and intestine.

Screening programs are known to help identify cancer earlier, which can lead to higher survival rates. Currently, about 42% of lung cancer diagnoses occur at stage 4, when survival rates are low.

The MSAC is responsible for providing advice to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on medical services or technology for public funding, assessing their comparative safety, clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness and total cost .

In its advice to the minister, the MSAC supported the creation of a national lung cancer screening programme, including a new Medicare item for low-dose CT scans (LDCT) for asymptomatic high-risk Australians to detect more early lung cancer. MSAC’s assessment is described in the publicly available summary.

The government will now consider the guidance alongside Cancer Australia’s lung cancer screening program feasibility project.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“I thank Cancer Australia for their work to date on a national lung cancer screening program.”

“The MSAC has carefully reviewed the details of this application, for which I am grateful. The Albanian government will consider the advice and respond in due course.