Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, accounting for 21% of all cancer death in males and 17% in females.  Survival rates remain poor and have improved little over the previous 26 years. Only 13 out of 100 people with lung cancer survive five years beyond their diagnosis.
Cancer Australia is leading a portfolio of work which aims to improve outcomes for people with lung cancer, including reducing variations in care and building a knowledge base to inform the future provision of care.
A systematic review of evidence was undertaken, followed by qualitative and quantitative analysis. An Advisory Group, comprising consumers, experts and health professionals, was established to inform the directions and priorities of the work.
Informed by the evidence, and expert advice and input, a two-year program of work was commenced.
The current activities include:
• Evidence-based information and resources to support general practitioners in the assessment of symptoms of suspected lung cancer and rapid referral to multidisciplinary specialist care
• Report on risk factors for lung cancer
• Clinical practice guidelines about treatment of lung cancer for health professionals
• Study and report on the impact of stigma and nihilism on lung cancer outcomes
• A literature review on patterns and models of care and ongoing consultation with cancer services on service delivery.
This body of work provides the foundation building blocks in the provision of evidence-based best practice care in lung cancer. These activities, ranging from awareness and risk reduction, to primary care and specialist treatment support and improved service delivery, will support improved outcomes for Australians diagnosed with lung cancer, and the health professionals who manage their care.
1. Australian Institute of Health & Welfare & Cancer Australia 2011. Lung cancer in Australia: an overview. Cat. No. CAN 58. Canberra: AIHW.