Lung cancer could cost $6.6bn to 2028

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A report by Lung Foundation Australia predicts lung cancer will cost the economy more than $6.6 billion by 2028 as more people are diagnosed.

Lung cancer could cost the Australian economy $6.6 billion over the next decade if changes aren't made to the way the disease and patients are treated, a new report suggests.

The Lung Foundation Australia has called for an urgent intervention amid estimates that nearly 270,000 people will be living with lung cancer by 2028.

More than 9000 people died of the disease last year - making it the number one cause of cancer death in the country.

The foundation, in a report published on Wednesday, predicts the disease will cost the Australian economy nearly $300 million in 2018.

That's expected to skyrocket to a total $6.6 billion over the next 10 years.

"For too long the true extent of the burden on the community, and on society, has remained under-acknowledged," the foundation's chief executive Mark Brooke said in a statement.

"This must change now,"

The report found one in five people diagnosed with lung cancer didn't receive any form of treatment. That jumps to nearly one in three in regional areas.

More than half experience distress, anxiety or depression and don't have sufficient access to services for support.

On top of that, about 30 per cent of people living with cancer blame themselves for their diagnosis, according to the report.

"Clearly, we can, and must, do more to support Australians living with lung cancer mentally and emotionally, on top of improving access to best practice care to manage their lung cancer," Cancer Council NSW's Nicole Rankin said.

The report has made six recommendations, including an increase in lung cancer clinical nurse specialists, a public awareness campaign to help reduce stigma around the disease, and more psychosocial support for those who have been diagnosed.

"We have a responsibility to make lung cancer a fair fight and can no longer accept inaction," Mr Brooke said.


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