Bowel screening saving lives

Thursday, August 8, 2019 - 09:11

Photo of man with bowel screening kit. More than 320 New Zealanders have had their bowel cancer detected in the last two years thanks to the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP) . 

The Programme, which is being progressively rolled out around the country, has just celebrated its second birthday. 

Bowel screening saves lives by helping to find bowel cancer at an early stage, when it can often be successfully treated. People who are diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer, and who receive treatment early, have a 90 percent chance of long term survival. 

Some people like Rev Ben Unu said he needed a bit of a nudge to do the test but he's so glad he did.

The NBSP targets 60 to 74 year olds because most bowel cancers are found in this age group. As well as finding more than 300 cancers, the national programme has removed hundreds of potentially cancerous polyps. 

Eight DHBs are now offering bowel screening. They are: Waitematā, Counties Manukau, Hawke’s Bay, Lakes, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa, Nelson Marlborough and Southern. The national roll-out is on track to be completed by mid-2021. 

Find out more about the National Bowel Screening Programme.

Page last updated: 08 August 2019