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Mobile Lung Cancer Screening

We want to bring mobile lung cancer screening to Canada

What if we created a mobile trailer lung cancer screening program that removed barriers and brought screening to communities?

Lung cancer is the biggest cancer killer in Canada, accounting for 1 in 4 cancer deaths1. About 70% of lung cancer is diagnosed at Stage III or IV1, so people often find out they have it when the cancer has spread beyond the lungs and their chance for survival is lowest.  

The key to helping more people survive? Catching it early.  

What if we created a mobile lung cancer screening program that removed barriers and brought screening into communities? It could unlock earlier testing, earlier diagnosis, and earlier treatments!  

We need your input!

1) What do you identify with most? 

  • Administration/Management/Decision Maker  

  • Healthcare Professional (Non-Physician) 

  • Healthcare Professional (Physician)  

  • Person living with a lung disease  
    Researcher/Scientist 

  • General Public   

2) At what stage do you think lung cancer is typically diagnosed in Canada? 

  • Early Stages 1 or 2;
  • Late Stages 3 or 4 

In Canada, 70% of lung cancer is diagnosed at later stages, in comparison to 50% of colorectal cancer, prostate (26%) and breast (18%). Your insight is important. Help us make a difference in improving lung cancer screening and diagnosis in Ontario. Answer our quick survey here.

Sharing your thoughts will help us shape our mobile lung cancer screening program recommendations. We’re gathering feedback from people with lived lung cancer experience, as well as healthcare professionals, government agencies, public health units, equipment vendors, research organizations, and advocacy groups.  

Current engagement opportunities: 

  • Questions for lung cancer patients | survey link 
  • Questions for public health professionals | survey link 
  • Questions for patient advocacy groups | survey link 

Take part in our live poll!

Take part in our live poll!

Test your knowledge with this anonymous poll. 

Do you have questions about our mobile lung cancer screening research, or ideas about spreading the word to lung cancer stakeholders? Get in touch with a member of our Program Implementation team.

We're gathering stakeholders for meaningful conversations about lung cancer screening inequities, and we want your input. Register for our upcoming session on October 30, 2023 (1:00- 2:30 p.m. ET)

Do you have questions about our mobile lung cancer screening research, or ideas about spreading the word to lung cancer stakeholders? Get in touch with a member of our Program Implementation team.


We're gathering stakeholders for meaningful conversations about lung cancer screening inequities, and we want your input. Register for our upcoming session on October 30, 2023 (1:00- 2:30 p.m. ET)

Do you have questions about our mobile lung cancer screening research, or ideas about spreading the word to lung cancer stakeholders? Get in touch with a member of our Program Implementation team.


About our project

The Lung Health Foundation has teamed up with Healthcare Together and Dr. Geoffrey Liu of University Health Network to study whether such a program could work in Ontario. We’re starting our investigation with a solutions-based paper that will help decision makers determine if a mobile trailer lung cancer screening program is a complementary solution to improving access and decreasing barriers for populations and communities within Ontario.

This work is vital because access to lung cancer screening isn’t equitable² – but it could be 

If you would like to learn more about the current lung cancer screening program, barriers for patients, as well as details regarding other mobile screening units around the world, view our background document here!

Frequently asked questions

A mobile trailer lung cancer screening program extends healthcare services to marginalized communities, underserved populations, and areas with limited or reduced healthcare infrastructure.  A unit has imaging equipment that can be deployed to multiple sites and can improve patient access.  The program is co-designed with patient advocates through a process of community engagement.

Late presentation is a significant issue in lung cancer and can lead to poor survival. Screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) can find lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment has a better chance of working. Reaching underserved populations with a mobile trailer lung cancer screening program allows professionals to reach at-risk populations closer to where they live.

Late presentation is a significant issue in lung cancer and can lead to poor survival. Screening with low dose computed tomography (LDCT) can find lung cancer at an early stage, when treatment has a better chance of working. Reaching underserved populations with a mobile lung screening trailer allows professionals to reach at-risk populations closer to where they live.  

The Ontario Lung Cancer Screening (LCS) Program is Ontario’s organized screening program for people at high risk of getting lung cancer. Sites include Toronto, Ottawa, Oshawa, Sudbury, and Hamilton. The LCS program referral is limited to individuals aged 55 to 74 and who are current or former smokers who smoked cigarettes daily for at least 20 years (not necessarily in a row).4  However – there are many populations and communities affected by lung cancer that cannot access the screening program due to geographical barriers.5
28% of lung cancer is not caused by tobacco smoking in Canada.6 Risk factors for non-smokers may include second-hand smoke, environmental exposures, radon, genetic factors, and lung disease.7 Our aim is to explore the feasibility of a mobile lung cancer screening unit that does not have restrictive criteria – so that diagnosis of lung cancer can occur earlier for all populations and communities.  

Our project partners

Our project sponsors

References

  1. Lung Cancer and Equity: A Focus on Income and Geography. Available at: https://s22457.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Lung-cancer-and-equity-report-EN.pdf (accessed June 2023), pp 14,10,9,12
  2. Canadian Cancer Society, Risk factors for lung cancer. Available at: https://cancer.ca/en/cancer-information/cancer-types/lung/risks
  3. Cancer Care Ontario: Guidelines and Advice, Why is low-dose computed tomography (LDCT) used for lung cancer screening for people at high risk of getting lung cancer? Available at: https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/guidelines-advice/cancer-continuum/screening/lung-cancer-screening-information/faqs-healthcare-providers
  4. Cancer Care Ontario, Guidelines and Advice, Lung Cancer Referral Form and Criteria. https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/guidelines-advice/cancer-continuum/screening/lung-cancer-screening-information/referrals (accessed June 2023)
  5. Sayani A. , Ali M.A., Corrado A.M.,et al. Interventions designed to increase the uptake of lung cancer screening and implications for priority populations: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 2021; 11e050056
  6. Health System Intelligence Project Team. The Health Planner’s Toolkit: Module 3 – Evidence-Based Planning, Toronto, ON: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, 2006.
  7. Cochrane Training, Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, Handbook 5-1, Chapter 21.8 https://handbook-5-1.cochrane.org/chapter_21/21_8_applicability_and_transferability.htm
  8. Public Health Ontario, Priority Populations. https://www.publichealthontario.ca/en/BrowseByTopic/HealthPromotion/Pages/Priority-Populations.aspx. Date accessed: August 5, 2016

Questions about lung cancer, for yourself or a loved one?

We’re here for you, and you’re not alone. Explore our lung cancer support groups, view our  Coping with Lung Cancer Support Guide or speak directly with our in-house lung cancer expert at patientsupport@lunghealth.ca.