By: Ricky Carr, Pūkenga Kaiwhakahaere - Wairau (Site Manager – Blenheim)
Nelson Marlborough Health launched its bowel screening programme on Thursday 16 August 2018 at Wairau Hospital. A few Te Piki Oranga staff attended the opening where Mr. Gerald Hope (Board Member) and Ms. Lexie O’Shea (GM Clinical NMH) spoke.
Over the next two years approximately 30,000 people aged 60 – 74 will be invited to participate in the programme, with the first invitation letters sent on 14 August. Screening save lives by detecting pre-cancerous polyps or finding bowel cancer at an early stage. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the developed world and the Nelson Marlborough region has the fourth highest rate in the country. It also has the lowest bowel cancer mortality rate of 18.1 per 100,000 people (Ministry of Health data, 2016) – an indicator that bowel cancer can be successfully treated if detected and treated early enough.
“It is important for Māori, because Māori have higher rates of bowel cancer, they are more likely to die of bowel cancer than non-Māori. “This is often because they are diagnosed with bowel cancer at a more advanced stage than non-Māori, so we are asking people to encourage their whānau – their matua and kaumatua – to do the test when it comes to them in the post,” Mrs. O’Shea said.
For further information contact your local Te Piki Oranga Nursing service.