The following statement can be attributed to Lung Foundation Australia Chief Executive Officer Mark Brooke.
Lung Foundation Australia expresses extreme disappointment as the Federal Government ignores Australia’s biggest cancer killer in the budget.
As the peak lung health organisation, Lung Foundation Australia expresses a deep disappointment that the government has stalled progress by not funding a national lung cancer screening program, again reiterating the stark inequity in funding between lung cancer and other leading cancers.
Lung Foundation Australia strongly believes that a national screening program is a crucial first step in improving survival rates of the biggest cancer killer in Australia that claims one Australian’s life every hour.
Lung cancer is often diagnosed too late when treatment options are limited, contributing to an extremely low 20% 5-year survival rate. Research conducted for Lung Foundation Australia by PwC shows that a screening program would increase this survivorship to 91%.
Over the last three years a significant amount of work has gone into assessing suitability of a lung cancer screening program, which was ultimately recommended by Cancer Australia, and even an investment of $6.9m in the previous budget. Cancer Australia’s report found that not only would the program save over 12,000 lives in the first 10 years, it would also reduce the financial burden to the health system associated with lung cancer in the long term.
In addition to the clear benefits, the Australian community also think the Federal Government should fund a lung cancer screening program, with 82% in support.
There is undeniable evidence for this screening program that has already had initial investment into scoping, but this lack of funding means progress will stall, and thousands of lives will be lost as a result.
2022 Federal Election priorities
We’re calling on the Federal Government to commit to investing in lung disease and lung health across six priority areas.