Australian First Lung Cancer Help

"One of the biggest advances in the fight against lung cancer for decades."

- Dr Fraser Brims

Back in the sixties, Roy Wallis worked in Wittenoom's asbestos mill...

"The actual asbestos was being treated at the time and bagged and this type of thing, and it couldn't be helped that there was asbestos dust in the air all the time."

-Roy Wallis

Like thousands of other West Aussies who've been exposed, Roy gets a yearly check-up through Charlie Gairdner's Asbestos Review Program...

The bad news - Roy had lung cancer. The good news - it was early enough to be treated.

Lung cancer is the world's leading cause of cancer death and certain groups are more at risk... People exposed to asbestos are twice as likely to get lung cancer; smokers are ten times more likely, and smokers exposed to asbestos are up to twenty times more likely.

Head of the Asbestos Review program, Dr Fraser Brims, says traditional ways of picking up lung cancer need improving - at the moment most lung cancers are picked up when it's too late to treat them.

But in an Australian first, the Program has started using old technology in a new way... and for people like Roy it's literally lifesaving.

"We can offer low dose CT scans which is the same radiation dose as a plain old fashioned chest x-ray, and yet they offer almost an infinite amount more information."

- Dr Brims

Usually, eight out of ten lung cancer patients are diagnosed too late to cure... it's hoped this technology can flip that statistic on its head.

"We can now, potentially, significantly change someone's life, at time when they didn't know they had a potentially lethal illness."

- Dr Brims

Ray has no doubt these doctors have saved his life.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, the review program would like to hear from you. To get in touch, contact Naomi Hammond (08) 9346 2922 or 1800 909 505 (country and interstate callers). Or via e-mail to ARP@health.wa.gov.au