National Lung Cancer Screening Program

Compared to most other cancers, the survival rate of people with lung cancer is poor and has improved little over time. A lung cancer diagnosis in Australians usually occurs once the cancer has spread beyond the lungs. Generally, the later the stage of diagnosis, the poorer the survival rate. Alongside passionate consumer advocates, Lung Foundation Australia led advocacy efforts for a National Lung Cancer Screening Program (NLCSP), with evidence showing an improvement in early diagnosis and saving over 12,000 lives.
  • What is the NLCSP and when will in commence?

    In July 2025 the Australian Government will make the program a reality with the Lung Cancer Screening being funded and set to start screening eligible populations.

    The NLCSP is a secondary prevention strategy which aims to detect lung cancers earlier when treatment is likely to be more effective. At risk Australians will be able to have a free lung scan (a low dose computed tomography also called low dose CT) every two years. To be eligible for screening, individuals must be aged between 50 and 70 years of age, have a history of cigarette smoking of at least 30 pack-years, and, if former smokers, had quit within the previous 10 years. The program will maximise prevention and early detection of lung cancer and achieve equity in cancer outcomes for vulnerable groups including First Nations people, people in rural and remote locations, people with a disability, people with a mental health condition, people from non-English speaking backgrounds and people from the LGBTQIA+ community.

  • What is Lung Foundation Australia's role in the implementation of NLCSP

    The Lung Foundation Australia are an implementation partner of the NLCSP. We are committed to working with the Australian Government in the rollout of this new cancer screening program. We recognise the importance of equitable access, cultural safety, and co-design, reducing stigma, supporting smoking cessation efforts, and education/ training for health professionals. As part of the implementation, Lung Foundation Australia will be establishing the Lung Cancer Screening Consumer Committee to ensure the NLCSP is guided by consumer advice.

  • What is the Lung Cancer Screening Consumer Committee?

    The Lung Foundation Australia will establish a consumer committee to support the introduction of the new NLCSP. The aim of this committee is to provide feedback on resources, communication materials and to ensure the NLCSP is guided by consumer advice.

    To do this we need your help to identify the positive and negative issues you may have experienced in access to and delivery of healthcare services. We welcome applications from people living in rural and remote communities, people with disability, people with a mental health condition, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people in the LGBTQIA+ community. Also, as this is a targeted program the committee particularly wants to hear from people who smoke or who have quit smoking. We have long championed for fairness and rest assured this committee will be a positive, non-judgemental and safe environment for you. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are being supported by the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) as part of their contribution to the NLCSP.

    Committee members will be recruited via an expression of interest and come from a diverse range of backgrounds. Whether you are personally affected by lung health concerns or simply driven by a desire to make a difference, we welcome individuals to apply. Applications will go through an assessment process as there are a limited number of committees positions available. Committee members will be remunerated for their time and expected to attend at minimum a two hour meeting per month.

    If you would like to submit an expression of interest to join the Lung Cancer Screening Program Consumer Representative Committee, please complete the form here.

    If you have any questions regarding the committee selection or requirements, please email or call 1800654301

  • A journey to achieving a National Lung Cancer screening program 

    As a result of engagement by consumer advocates and Lung Foundation Australia, the then Minister for Health tasked Cancer Australia, in October 2019, with assessing the feasibility of conducting a lung cancer screening service in Australia. Information on the Cancer Australia enquiry can be found  here.

    Lung Foundation Australia made a submission in support of a national screening program which you can read read here.

    Cancer Australia’s report recommended lung cancer screening in Australia and found it would be cost-effective and save over 12,000 lives over the first 10 years of the program.

    Lung Foundation Australia launched the Lung Cancer Blueprint: The Next Breath, which recommends the Australian Government fund and implement a targeted national lung cancer screening program.

    The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) reviewed the evidence and approved the feasibility of a targeted national lung cancer screening program in Australia.

    In May 2023, the Australian Government announced their budget, which included $264m over four years for lung cancer screening, and $101m per year thereafter. Read our statement following the funding announcement of this life-saving program.

    The work doesn’t stop here. We are committed to working with the Australian Government in the implementation of this new cancer screening program. We recognise the importance of equitable access, cultural safety and co-design, reducing stigma, supporting smoking cessation efforts, education and training for health professionals, and supporting Australians through the healthcare system.

  • Key statistics

     Lung cancer is often detected too late when treatment options are limited

     Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia

     Each year over 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with lung canceri

     Lung cancer has the lowest five-year survivorship out of the top cancersii

    • Lung cancer – 20%
    • Bowel cancer – 70%
    • Cervical cancer – 74%
    • Breast cancer – 92%
    • Melanoma skin cancer – 92%
    • Prostate cancer – 95%

     In 2015-2016, lung cancer cost the health system $448.4millioniii

     The key to improving survival and quality of life of Australians affected by lung cancer is to diagnose lung cancer early.

Lung Cancer Scorecard 2023

Our ‘Lung Cancer Scorecard 2023’ that highlights progress and compares outcomes between Australia’s most common cancers. Read more by clicling on link below.

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Lung Cancer Blueprint 2.0

The Blueprint, The Next Breath: Accelerating Lung Cancer Reform in Australia, identifies the critical issues in lung cancer that need government investment and coordinated national action. Read more by clicling on link below.

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National Lung Cancer Screening Program

Lung Cancer Screening icon

Please visit the National Lung Cancer Screening Program website to learn more about the new screening program coming in July 2025. The NLCSP website provides participants, healthcare providers and other stakeholders with important information about the program, including:

  • Information about why lung screening is important, who is eligible for the program and details about how lung screening will work
  • Details about the implementation of the program and the work underway to ensure an equitable, accessible and culturally safe national lung screening program from July 2025
  • The important role of healthcare providers and support available to ensure the successful delivery of the program
  • The program’s advisory bodies, clinical and jurisdictions, and contacts for the Department.

The website will be regularly updated as design and implementation continues to progress ahead of the launch of the program in July 2025.

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