Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Australia. Survival rates are poor for both men and women and there are differences in survival by sociodemographic characteristics and Indigenous status.3 Factors contributing to differences in survival and outcomes are varied.
Cancer Australia, as the Government’s national cancer control agency, works to improve outcomes for Australian’s diagnosed with cancer, where lung cancer is an identified priority.
Develop and implement best practice approaches to the management of lung cancer care, to support the delivery of consistent, evidence-based care for people affected by lung cancer.
A national multi-phased evidence-gathering approach supported by collaboration with key stakeholders has informed the development of a set of ‘Principles for best practice management of lung cancer’ to guide the implementation of best practice care across different service delivery settings in Australia.
A systematic review of the literature informed key themes that were explored through qualitative and quantitative research. Lung cancer services were profiled nationally, consumer consultation undertaken through a national survey and targeted interviews, and health service consultation completed through interviews and site visits.
Variations in the delivery of lung cancer care including time to diagnosis, access to active treatment, re-treatment and palliative care were identified. Consumer consultation identified the need for improvements in communicating lung cancer information across the care pathway. Health service consultation highlighted a range of systemic issues that influence how care is delivered.
These results provided the foundational evidence base to inform the implementation of best practice lung cancer care, supported by Principles that provide a national framework to support cancer services. Implementation of the framework aligned to the Principles will demonstrate the delivery of best practice care in different service settings, focusing on essential elements of care which will deliver specific best practice outcomes.