Efforts in Early Screening and Detection Highlighted as Key Strategy for Alleviating Healthcare Expenses Linked to Lung Cancer.


Dr. Eva Susanti, S. Kp, M.Kes, Director of Non-Communicable Disease Prevention and Control at the Ministry of Health, highlighted the importance of early screening and detection in reducing the financial burden of cancer on healthcare systems.

Speaking at an event on lung cancer screening in Jakarta on Wednesday, Eva noted that in 2021, lung cancer-related healthcare expenses ranked as the second-highest at approximately Rp 3.5 trillion.

"Efforts in prevention, particularly in screening and early detection, need to be undertaken to identify cases as early as possible. This will increase survival rates, improve treatment success, and ultimately reduce the financial burden on healthcare," Eva explained.

For years, lung cancer has remained the leading cause of death in Indonesia, with the number of cases increasing annually.

According to Globocan 2020 data, Indonesia sees 34,783 new lung cancer cases diagnosed each year, resulting in 30,843 deaths annually.

To address this, the Ministry of Health is currently implementing a healthcare transformation system with a focus on one of its four pillars: primary healthcare services and advanced healthcare services, which is a top priority.

"All four pillars – health promotion, specific protection, early detection, and case management – including for lung cancer, align with the transformation we are undertaking," Eva stated.

Lung cancer screening has now become a basic healthcare need, a benefit of the national health assurance program. Screening can be conducted at primary healthcare facilities or FKTPs (First-Level Health Facilities). Eva expressed her hope that doctors at FKTPs can identify individuals at risk of lung cancer through the latest consensus screening methods.

Eva also commended the efforts of the Indonesian Cancer Foundation, AstraZeneca, the Indonesian Association for the Study on Thoracic Oncology (IASTO), and the Indonesian Chest Physicians Association (PDPI) for collectively enhancing the national lung cancer screening program.

High-risk population identification is also achieved through the adoption of the Lung Cancer Risk Profile Questionnaire and exploration of the potential use of innovative technologies such as low-dose CT scans and artificial intelligence.

These early detection methods can aid radiologists in identifying potentially cancerous growths at an early stage, enabling lung cancer patients to be identified and treated sooner.

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