In 2009, the Australian Government provided $6.83 million over four years (2009 – 2013) in new funding for the Cancer Australia – Improving lung cancer data and treatment guidelines measure.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in Australia, with an estimated 8,100 people dying from the disease in 2010. In women, the lung cancer incidence rates increased by 72 per cent between 1982 and 2007, while incidence rates in men decreased by 32 per cent over the same period. These changes are likely to be due to changes in smoking rates in men and women over the last 40 years.

The care and support of people affected by lung cancer is complex. Currently in Australia a large percentage of people diagnosed with lung cancer are diagnosed too late for curative treatment.

The National Lung Cancer Program is providing national leadership in lung cancer treatment by building an accessible evidence base to support the development and implementation of co-ordinated cancer care.

Since 2009 it has embarked on a four year program of work that focuses on:

  • Research to build the evidence around lung cancer care
  • Increasing support and guidance for health professionals
  • Improving data and reporting for lung cancer

The National Lung Cancer Program is guided by an Advisory Group which includes experts and consumers. The Advisory Group meets regularly, to help guide the implementation of the Program. Working groups have been established for all funded projects to provide technical advice and links have been established with areas within the Department of Health and Ageing who have responsibility for lung cancer related activities, including the National Tobacco Strategy.

Process for public consultation  

As part of a public consultation process, you are invited to comment on Investigating symptoms in lung cancer: A guide for general practitioners. The GP guide is designed to be a concise and easy to refer to evidence-based tool for GPs to support the effective assessment, and timely referral to a multi-disciplinary team, of patients who have or may have lung cancer.