Why regular bowel screening is important

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand.  Every year more than 3000 people are diagnosed with bowel cancer and more than 1200 die from the disease.

Bowel screening every two years can help save lives by finding bowel cancer at an early stage, when it can often be successfully treated. There may be no warning signs that you have bowel cancer.

Bowel screening can also detect polyps. These are not cancer, but they may develop into a cancer over a number of years. Most polyps can be easily removed, reducing the risk that bowel cancer will develop.

If you develop any symptoms of bowel cancer, it is important that you talk to your doctor.

Why early detection of bowel cancer is important

People who are diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer, and who receive treatment early, have a 90% chance of long term survival.

If there is a delay in diagnosis and treatment, and the cancer is more advanced, it is harder to successfully treat.

Regular bowel screening every two years can help detect cancer at an early stage, when it can be more successfully treated.

Page last updated: 05 May 2017
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