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Bowel screening programme resumes in Hawke’s Bay

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Hawke’s Bay DHB has resumed its bowel screening programme after pausing it during the COVID pandemic response.

The bowel screening programme has been available in Hawke’s Bay since October 2018 and in that time has screened 14,519 people.

Chief Operating Officer Chris Ash said pausing the programme had given the gastroenterology teams time to return their services back to normal after the unit had been repurposed to a second Intensive Care Unit, as part of the COVID response.

From this week testing kits will again be sent out to people inviting people to participate in the screening programme, he said.

"It’s important people take-up the offer as the disease kills over 1,200 people in New Zealand every year. People who are diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer, and who receive treatment early, have a 90 percent chance of long-term survival."

Screening for people aged 60-74 years of age is free, as are any follow-up tests or treatment.

Testing is done at home using a bowel screening test kit received through the mail. The kit is quick, easy and simple to do by yourself at home and is returned by post.

You do not need to register to participate in the screening programme, anyone who is eligible to participate will automatically receive an invitation in the mail. However, people aged 60 to 74 years of age are encouraged to check that their address details are up to date with their GP.

If you do have unusual bowel symptoms, don’t wait to be screened. Screening is for people who have no symptoms of bowel cancer. People of any age with unusual bowel symptoms should contact their doctor immediately.

For more information https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/preventative-health-wellness/screening/national-bowel-screening-programme .

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