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New framework to improve lung cancer outcomes

Cancer Australia has collaborated with clinical leaders, researchers, service delivery experts and people affected by lung cancer to develop Principles which underpin an evidence-based approach to improve lung cancer outcomes in Australia.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, despite being only the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in both men and women.

Survival rates are poor, with 14 out of every 100 people diagnosed with the disease expecting to live five years after diagnosis, compared with around 66 out of every100 people for all cancers combined.

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, those living in rural and remote Australia and people in lower socioeconomic status areas, the outcomes are significantly poorer.

“We know that delays in diagnosis, being diagnosed with advanced disease and an individual’s access to best practice treatment and care all significantly impact survival outcomes.” Cancer Australia CEO, Professor Helen Zorbas said. 

“Cancer Australia’s Lung Cancer Demonstration Project aims to address these issues by engaging health service providers to deliver an evidence-based framework that demonstrates best practice for people affected by lung cancer.” 

Following a competitive tender process, four health service collaborations were selected to participate in the project:

  • Sydney Local Health District (NSW)
  • Metro North Hospital and Health Service (QLD)
  • Tasmanian Health Organisation - South (TAS)
  • Western Australia Cancer and Palliative Care Network (WA)

“Cancer Australia aims to reduce variations in outcomes, and improve early diagnosis and appropriate referral so that irrespective of where people live, or their cultural background, they receive appropriate treatment and care.” Professor Zorbas said.

The collaborations will identify key factors contributing to ongoing delivery of best-practice lung cancer care for national application.