National bowel screening saving more lives

A review of the national bowel screening programme released today has confirmed that bowel screening has helped reduce the impact of bowel cancer in New Zealand, and as a result is saving more lives.

The Cancer Society says they welcome the positive review of the programme and its support of the on-going roll-out of the programme with recommendations for its continued improvement.

Oncologist and Cancer Society Medical Director Dr Chrs Jackson says, "We have one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world and screening is crucial to addressing this."

The Cancer Society says the report contains many positives and a greater focus on equity of outcomes, including more engagement with Māori and Pacific peoples.

Dr Jackson says, "We know Māori have worse outcomes for bowel cancer than non-Māori once diagnosed, and that high participation in screening for Māori is crucial."

It's expected that once the National Bowel Screening Programme is fully implemented, an estimated 500-700 cancers each year will be detected early.