July 29, 2021
National bowel cancer screening saving lives
Health Minister Andrew Little says the national bowel screening programme has already detected more than 1000 New Zealanders with bowel cancer.
The programme started in 2017 and is now in 17 of the 20 district health board areas.
Mr Little says New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the developed world, and it’s this country’s second-most-common cause of death from cancer, with 100 deaths a month.
The programme is starting to reduce that toll.
Thirty-nine per cent of the cancers found have been in the early stages, where there is a 95 per cent chance of patients living at least another five years.
Mr Little says the programme has also led to hundreds of people having pre-cancerous polyps removed, saving more lives.
The National Bowel Screening Programme targets people aged 60 to 74.
Mr Little says everyone who gets a bowel-cancer test kit in the mail should use it as the test is easy to do and takes just a few minutes.
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