Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury Proven to Save Lives

Bowel cancer Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury Proven to Save Lives
Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury Proven to Save Lives

Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury Proven to Save Lives

Bowel Cancer: A Silent Killer

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is a type of cancer that affects the colon or rectum. It is one of the most common types of cancer worldwide and a leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The symptoms of bowel cancer can be vague and easily dismissed, which often leads to late-stage diagnosis and lower chances of successful treatment. However, with advancements in medical technology and awareness campaigns, early detection has become crucial in the fight against this silent killer.

The Importance of Bowel Cancer Screening

Early detection of bowel cancer can significantly improve patient outcomes and survival rates. Bowel cancer screening programs aim to detect precancerous or cancerous growths in the colon or rectum through the use of various screening tests. These tests are non-invasive, easy to perform, and can detect abnormalities early on, even before symptoms appear.

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury is a groundbreaking initiative that has been proven to save lives. The program aims to offer free bowel cancer screening to eligible individuals aged between 60 and 74 years old. It delivers two main screening methods: the fecal immunochemical test (FIT) and colonoscopy.

Fecal Immunochemical Test (FIT)

The FIT is a simple, at-home test that involves collecting a small stool sample and sending it to a laboratory for analysis. It detects blood in the stool, which is a common early sign of bowel cancer. The FIT has gained popularity due to its convenience and effectiveness in detecting early-stage bowel cancer. Individuals who have a positive FIT result are referred for a follow-up colonoscopy to determine the presence of cancer or precancerous growths.


Colonoscopy is a more invasive but highly reliable screening method for bowel cancer. It involves the use of a flexible tube with a camera at its tip to examine the entire colon and rectum. If any abnormal growths or polyps are detected during a colonoscopy, they can be removed and sent for further testing to determine if they are cancerous.

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury provides colonoscopy following a positive FIT result to ensure a thorough examination and accurate diagnosis.

Benefits of the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury has numerous benefits that have been proven through extensive research and successful outcomes. Some of the key benefits include:

  1. Early Detection: By detecting bowel cancer at an early stage, the programme increases the chances of successful treatment and higher survival rates. It allows for prompt intervention and less invasive treatment options.
  2. Reduced Mortality: Studies have shown that regular bowel cancer screening can reduce mortality rates by identifying cancers at an early stage when they are more treatable.
  3. Cost-Effective: The programme offers free screening, making it accessible to all eligible individuals. Detecting and treating bowel cancer at an early stage can reduce the cost burden on healthcare systems.
  4. Peace of Mind: Participating in the screening programme can provide individuals with peace of mind, knowing that they are taking proactive steps towards their health and well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who is eligible for the Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury?

Anyone between the ages of 60 and 74, who is registered with a participating general practitioner (GP) in South Canterbury, is eligible for the free bowel cancer screening programme.

2. How often should I participate in bowel cancer screening?

Every two years, eligible individuals are invited to participate in the screening programme. Regular screening is vital as bowel cancer can develop over time. It is recommended not to skip any scheduled screening appointments.

3. Are there any risks associated with bowel cancer screening?

The screening tests provided by the programme are generally safe and non-invasive. However, colonoscopy carries a small risk of complications, such as bleeding or perforation of the colon. These risks are minimal but are outweighed by the benefits of early detection and treatment.

In Conclusion

The Bowel Cancer Screening Programme in South Canterbury has proven to be a game-changer in the fight against bowel cancer. By offering free screening to eligible individuals, this programme has successfully detected and treated precancerous and cancerous growths, ultimately saving lives. It is crucial for everyone within the eligible age group to actively participate in the screening programme to ensure early detection and improve their chances of successful treatment. Remember, early detection is key in the battle against bowel cancer, and the screening programme is here to help.[4]

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