The disease kills over 1,200 people every year, and Southern DHB has some of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the country. Yet people who are diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer, and who receive treatment early, have a 90% chance of long term survival.
Bowel screening every two years can help save lives. A positive test can lead to a colonoscopy which may find and remove pre-cancerous polyps or detect bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.
Screening is free for those who are eligible, 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.
Southern DHB’s free bowel cancer screening programme is for men and women aged 60 – 74 years of age. Invitation letters will be timed to coincide with people’s birthdays, allowing for a constant and even flow of invitations over 24 months."