Positive start to bowel screening in Hutt Valley and Wairarapa

Programme Manager Nicola Giblett promoting bowel screening at the Hutt Riverside Market
Programme Manager Nicola Giblett promoting bowel screening at the Hutt Riverside Market
The National Bowel Screening Programme was launched in the Hutt Valley and Wairarapa District Health Board areas in July.

The programme offers free bowel screening for men and women aged 60 to 74 years who are eligible for publicly funded health care.

It aims to save lives by helping detect bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.

Participants complete the simple test at home, and return it by mail for testing. Those who get a positive test result are then sent for a further investigation, usually a colonoscopy, to see if there are any problems with their bowel.

By the end of November the Hutt Valley bowel screening team had seen about 60 patients for colonoscopy.

During a colonoscopy, polyps (growths) or cancers can be detected. Polyps are not cancers, but may turn into a cancer over a number of years. Removing them can help stop bowel cancer from developing.

Hutt Valley Lead clinician, Dr Jeff Wong, has removed more than 130 polyps in total from patients seen so far and is excited about the preventative aspects of this work.

Both District Health Boards have been working hard to ensure their communities are aware of the bowel screening programme, running local radio ads and promoting the free service at events across their districts.

They say it’s been great to see the high level of interest in the new screening programme, and are encouraging people to take part when they’re invited.

For more information about the National Bowel Screening Programme, visit https://www.nsu.govt.nz/national-bowel-screening-programme.

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Page last updated: 19 December 2017