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Media Release

MSAC recommendation takes Australia one step closer to a national lung cancer screening program

October 13, 2022

Medical Services Advisory Committee recommends implementation of a national lung cancer screening program

Cancer Council Australia has today welcomed a recommendation from the Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) for the Federal Government to implement a national lung cancer screening program, with the aim of supporting earlier detection of lung cancer. 

The announcement comes off the back of an application from Cancer Australia submitted earlier this year, following extensive analysis into the feasibility of a national lung cancer screening program.

Cancer Council Australia CEO, Professor Tanya Buchanan, noted the importance of this recommendation in helping save more Australian lives in the future.

“Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia, and it’s estimated that more than 8,600 Australians will die from lung cancer this year alone.”

“This recommendation takes us one step closer to the implementation of a national lung cancer screening program, which will help detect more cancers earlier and help save more lives.

The advice received by MSAC includes a recommendation to implement a new Medicare item for low dose computed tomography (LDCT) scans for asymptomatic high-risk Australians, to help detect lung cancer earlier.
Chair of Cancer Council’s Cancer Screening and Immunisation Committee, Professor Karen Canfell, said the recommendation reflected the growing evidence on the feasibility of targeted lung cancer screening and is an exciting step in the cancer screening space.

“The review was conducted independently and concluded with high certainty that the evidence showed the proposed program would reduce lung cancer mortality. This is a major development in cancer control in Australia,” she said.

With news of the MSAC recommendation, Cancer Council is urging the Federal Government to carefully consider this advice and work towards the implementation of a national targeted lung cancer screening program in a timely manner.

“The earlier lung cancer is detected, the better treatment outcomes are likely to be, and these recommendations reflect that. We’re calling on the Federal Government to act on MSAC’s advice and implement a targeted program to detect more cancers earlier,” concluded Professor Buchanan.

For information on lung cancer or Cancer Council’s efforts in the lung cancer screening space, visit

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