September 15, 2022
Andrew Connelly – bowel cancer
A leading bowel cancer surgeon says lowering the screening age to 50 for Māori and Pasifika is encouraging, given data showing more of them are getting cancer younger.
Dr Andre Connolly, who is also chief medical officer Te Whatu Ora Counties Manukau, says he and his colleagues have advocated greater access to screening because it allows potential cancers to be detected earlier and often treated without the need for surgery.
“Where we see real trouble with bowel cancer is where people don’t get the help they need where their symptoms first start so if listeners are worried about particularly bleeding when they go to the loo or any change from what would be their normal way of going, so it you’re a once a day person. if you start going three times a day, that sort of things, I really encourage listeners to sing out to their doctors,” he says.
The free national bowel screening programme being rolled out around the country is available for all people aged 60 to 74 every two years, and for Maori and Pasifika over 50.