National Bowel Screening Programme
More than 3000 New Zealanders are diagnosed with bowel cancer each year and more than 1200 die from it.
There may be no warning signs that bowel cancer is developing.
The National Bowel Screening Programme aims to save lives by detecting bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.
The programme is being rolled out progressively throughout New Zealand, starting in July 2017.*
This is an invitation-based screening programme.
To be invited, you must be:
- aged 60 to 74 years
- eligible for publicly funded health care.
The screening test is simple, clean and fast. You do it by yourself at home.
Bowel screening is for people who don’t have any symptoms of bowel cancer.
If you have any bowel symptoms which concern you, please talk to your doctor straight away.
* Bowel screening will continue to be offered to eligible people at Waitemata DHB, which will transition from the Pilot to the National Bowel Screening Programme in January 2018. Information on the Pilot is available on the Ministry of Health website.
In this section
The National Bowel Screening Programme will be rolled out progressively throughout New Zealand, starting with Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Boards in July 2017.
Bowel cancer is a malignant growth that develops inside the bowel. It is also called colon, rectal or colorectal cancer.
New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Regular bowel screening every two years can help detect cancer at an early stage, when it can be more successfully treated.
The free bowel screening test is simple, clean and fast to do. You do it by yourself at home.
You will receive a letter with your results and information about what this means for you. You may also receive a call from your doctor or a nurse.
How to access information on bowel screening in te reo Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Hindi, Chinese and Korean.
Many New Zealanders participate in screening programmes and have their own stories to tell. We are privileged to be able to share some of those stories.
Resources on bowel screening for the public.