Today, Cancer Australia released a review of the impact of COVID-19 on medical services and procedures for lung and prostate cancer. Unsurprisingly, the news is not good: Diagnostic procedures for the detection of lung cancer decreased by 27% between March and April 2020, to 2,731 services down from 3,725 services over the same period in 2019.
This Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we remind the community of the importance of prioritising your health and wellbeing, despite the limits imposed by COVID-19. If you experience any unusual or unexplained physical symptoms, raise them with your GP immediately. Early detection of abnormalities or cancer opens up a range of treatment possibilities which can lead to better short and long term health outcomes for patients, families and the community.
At Lung Foundation Australian, we believe that implementing a population-wide lung cancer screening program, will normalise and embed preventive services in the health system, align Australian services with international best practice and most importantly, help Australians access early detection measures. We understand the Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, has Cancer Australia’s report on the feasibility of a Lung Cancer Screening Program in Australia. We encourage the Minister and his state and territory counterparts to act early on the recommendations in this report, to improve the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of lung cancers to give Australians diagnosed with lung cancer a fair fight.
Lung Foundation Australia continues to urge all governments, both federal and state, to invest in specialist lung cancer nurses who play a vital role as nurse navigators. You can read more about our fight for specialist lung cancer nurses, here.