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Lung cancer screening

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Academic background
Health Sciences
Host campus
Preventive and Social Medicine (Dunedin)


In collaboration with colleagues based in Waitematā and Auckland District Health Boards, I have recently received funding to trial lung cancer screening among Māori residing in The Waitematā and Auckland District Health Board regions.

There are very serious inequities in lung cancer outcomes for Māori. Lung cancer is still the largest contributor to the difference in life expectancy between Māori and non-Māori people. Lung cancer screening has been shown to reduce mortality from lung cancer by 20-26% internationally because it allows us to identify lung cancer at an earlier stage when it is more easily treated and cured. Before we establish a lung cancer screening programme we have to design a programme that works well for Māori. If not, there is a serious risk that the programme will increase the lung cancer inequities because it will deliver more effectively to the non-Māori population.

Our funded trial is the first lung cancer screening project in Aotearoa New Zealand. It will compare two different ways of inviting Māori to take part in lung cancer screening. We will be asking Māori participants (and their whānau) about their experience of the invitation process and the lung cancer screening pathway. We will also be asking staff from health services about their experience of the invitation process and the lung cancer screening pathway.

There are many different potential topics, including participant/whānau experience of the lung cancer screening pathway, Māori participant/whānau and health service’s experiences, screening outcomes, and health economics.

There is funding to support a PhD student for three years within the project.


Sue Crengle