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Te Oranga Pūkahukahu – Lung Health Check

Nau mai, haere mai, welcome to Te Oranga Pūkahukahu, the Lung Cancer Screening study being done by Waitematā DHB, Auckland DHB, Otago University and some local primary care practices.


The study is about lung cancer screening. Early detection can increase the number of treatment options for lung cancer and increases the chances of survival.


Overseas, screening has decreased the number of deaths from lung cancer. We want to design a lung cancer screening programme that works for Māori in Aotearoa. To do this, we are doing a study to help inform this design.


We will be conducting a study of around 500 participants, funded by the Health Research Council. Read media release here.

At the moment, most lung cancers are found quite late. Screening can help find lung cancer when it is small,  has not spread anywhere else and is not causing any symptoms. Screening for lung cancer has been shown to decrease deaths from lung cancer among people who are at high-risk of developing it.

Lung cancer screening uses a CT scan which can detect lung cancer before symptoms develop. We only need to scan people who are at higher risk for lung cancer, so first we will ask participants some questions about their health to assess their risk.

This video will tell you a bit more about what to expect when considering lung screening. It will talk you through what it is like to get a CT scan, and some of the risks and benefits that are important to know.

Te Oranga Pūkahukahu - Lung Health Check on Vimeo

The people who are invited to join this study will:

  • be Māori
  • be enrolled in a health clinic that is part of the research
  • be smokers, or ex-smokers
  • be aged between 55 and 74
  • live in either the Auckland District Health Board or Waitematā District Health Board catchment areas.


You cannot be in the study if any of these things apply to you:

  • you have never smoked
  • you have had lung cancer before
  • you have had a chest CT scan in the last two years
  • you have some other cancers or conditions that don’t allow you to participate – our study nurse can talk to you about these.


This study is helping to test two different ways of inviting people to take part in screening. The two ways are being invited through your usual health clinic (GP), or through a centralised process. Participants will receive an invitation to participate, either from their own GP, or from a lung cancer screening study nurse.

Part 1 – assessment

The first part of the study is an assessment to find out if invited participants are eligible for a lung screening CT scan. The assessment involves answering some questions with a nurse about your personal and family health history and smoking history. This can be done over the phone, by video call or in person.

If your assessment shows you are not at high risk of getting lung cancer, then you will not need a CT scan. Your participation in the study will end here. You might be offered an assessment again in the future, as your risk can change over time.

If your assessment shows you are at higher risk of lung cancer, you will be invited to have a CT scan, which is a type of X-ray. This does not mean you have lung cancer.


Part 2 – CT scan

A nurse or doctor will talk with you about the pros and cons of having a CT scan and what is involved. They will also talk about what happens if the scan finds something. This will help you decide whether or not to have a CT scan.

If you decide to have a CT scan, an appointment will be made for a time that suits you.

Once you have had your CT scan, the pictures are sent to a radiologist who will search for ‘spots’ on your lungs (called nodules). They may also find other health issues. The radiologist will send a report to the doctors in our study.

Your GP or a nurse from your usual clinic will talk about your results either over the phone or in person.

If nodules are found, the doctors will talk through what this means and what should happen next.

Some people with nodules will have another CT scan to see if the nodule has changed. Some people will be offered other tests to see if the nodule is cancer or something else.

If anything else is found on the CT scan, we will talk to you about what this means and whether anything needs to be done.

We welcome whānau or other support people to be involved in your lung cancer screening journey if you choose to take part. Support people are welcome to ask questions and attend any appointments with you.

For any questions, please contact:

Professor Sue Crengle

(Waitaha, Kāti Mamoe, Kāi Tahu)

Principal Investigator for the Lung Screening Research Programme, University of Otago


Dr Karen Bartholomew

DHB Lead for this study


 Dr Kate Parker

Co-investigator & Programme Manager

Ph: 09 486 8920 ext 42062


Research team


Billie Davis

Research Assistant

Waitematā District Health Board

Grace Steel

Study Nurse

Waitematā District Health Board

Anne Fraser

Study Nurse Practitioner

Waitematā District Health Board

Donna Enoka

Engagement Co-ordinator

Waitematā District Health Board

Sarah Colhoun

Assistant Research Fellow

University of Otago