Bowel Screening

Early detection saves lives

What is bowel screening?

Bowel screening every two years can help save lives by finding bowel cancer at an early stage, when it can often be successfully treated.

Bowel screening tests are free for people aged 60 to 74. The test is quick, clean and simple to do. You do it by yourself at home.

The test is to detect blood in your stool, not cancer.

Our team

Outreach Service Co-ordinator: Yvonne Rogers

Clinical Nurse Co-Ordinator: Sarah Doyle

What we do

  • Identify, engage and initiate strategies to support bowel screening participation
  • Establish collaborative relationships with Primary Healthcare providers
  • Support contact “hard to reach” individuals who do not respond to screening invitation
  • Develop and maintain positive relationships with iwi, hapu, marae and other community organisations
  • Co-ordinate outreach events
  • Support participants through the health system

The National Bowel screening programme is for men and women aged 60 to 74 years and involves a simple test done at home using a kit that arrives in the post.

The test detects minute traces of blood in a sample of faeces which can be an early warning sign for bowel cancer.

The sample should be posted off within seven days of the test, and it is then checked at the laboratory.

People will be notified if further investigation is required, typically through a colonoscopy. Like the test, follow-up investigation and treatment is free.

Bowel cancer is very treatable if picked up early.

People diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer who receive treatment early have a 90 per cent chance of long-term survival.

Te Whatu Ora Lakes joined the national screening programme in February 2019.