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Another 30,000 start bowel cancer screening in Nelson Marlborough

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Health Minister Dr David Clark is welcoming the introduction of the National Bowel Screening Programme in Nelson Marlborough DHB today.

David Clark says 30,000 people (aged 60-74) in the region will join the national programme over the next two years, with the first invitation letters being sent out today.

"We know the screening test will save lives and I encourage people to take up the opportunity to get screened. The free test could detect problems early and improve your chances of successful treatment."

Nelson Marlborough is the sixth DHB to introduce the National Bowel Screening Programme and the second in the South Island. Nationwide more than a quarter of a million eligible people are now being offered free bowel screening.

"The Nelson Marlborough region has the fourth highest rate of bowel cancer nationwide and having good local participation in the programme is our best opportunity for reducing the harm from this disease.

"I would like to recognise the hard work done by the DHB to get us to this point. The message I frequently hear is that it is vitally important that we get this right.

"That’s why it was so valuable to have had the programme recently endorsed by the independent review set up by Government following some concerns raised about the programme.

"I am reassured that local people taking part in the bowel screening programme will benefit from the series of recommendations from the independent review which will guide the continued development of the national programme.

"Once the National Bowel Screening Programme is fully implemented it is estimated that as many as 500-700 cancers each year will be detected early. People in the Nelson Marlborough area will start to see the benefit of this programme progressively from today," says David Clark.

NOTE: Waitemata, Counties Manukau, Hutt Valley, Wairarapa and Southern DHBs are already part of the National Bowel Screening Programme.

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