The National Bowel Screening Programme is a free programme to help detect bowel cancer early, when it can often be successfully treated. Screening is being offered to men and women aged 60 to 74 who are eligible for publicly funded healthcare.
Hutt Valley is one of the first areas of New Zealand to benefit from the programme which is in the process being rolled out across New Zealand. By the end of April, nine cases of bowel cancer were diagnosed through the Programme in Hutt Valley. These are cancers that are unlikely to have been detected without free screening until they were at a more advanced stage.
Hutt Valley DHB Acting Chief Executive Dale Oliff says the DHB is pleased with how bowel screening has been going so far in the Hutt Valley.
“This is an excellent scheme for finding cancer earlier when it is more treatable. Our clinical team are able to make a difference to people’s lives through early detection of tumours and also preventing cancer from developing in the future. We appreciate those in the community who are encouraging their whānau to complete their screening test.”
The bowel screening team is reaching out to participants to get feedback on the process of bowel screening. They are also looking for bowel health champions – people who would be willing to encourage others to take the test when it is their turn.
There are a number of ways people could get involved:
tell the team about your experience
let the team know if you would be willing to be quoted in any communications used by the team to promote the bowel screening programme
let the team know if you would be willing to share your photograph to form part of a newspaper article about screening or to appear in an advert, or if you would be willing to be interviewed about your experience of bowel screening
encourage people in your community – family, friends and whānau - to take part in screening
To contact the team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Bowel screening is for people who don’t have symptoms of bowel cancer. If you have any bowel symptoms that concern you, discuss these with your doctor. Don’t wait to receive your free bowel screening test.
To find out more about bowel screening please go to www.timetoscreen.nz or call 0800 924 432.