The Australian Government has received advice regarding a national lung cancer screening program from the independent Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC).
Cancer Australia, the Government’s lead agency for cancer control, initiated an application to MSAC for a national lung cancer screening program, to sit alongside Australia’s other cancer screening programs, such as those for breast, cervical and bowel cancers.
Screening programs are known to help identify cancer earlier, which can lead to higher survival rates. Currently around 42% of lung cancer diagnoses occur at stage 4, when survival rates are low.
MSAC is responsible for providing advice to the Minister for Health and Aged Care on medical services or technology for public funding, by appraising its comparative safety, clinical effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, and total cost.
In its advice to the Minister, MSAC has supported the creation of a national lung cancer screening program, including a new Medicare item for low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans for asymptomatic high-risk Australians to detect lung cancer earlier. The MSAC appraisal is outlined in the publicly available summary.
The Government will now consider the advice alongside Cancer Australia’s lung cancer screening program feasibility project.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“I thank Cancer Australia for its work to date on a national lung cancer screening program.”
“MSAC has carefully considered the details of this application which I am grateful for. The Albanese Government will consider the advice and respond in due course.”