Pacific and Māori people in Tairāwhiti aged between 50 and 59 are now able to take part in the free National Bowel Screening Programme. The simple screening test can help find bowel cancer early, when it can often be successfully treated.
The lower starting age for Māori and Pacific people is being progressively introduced across Aotearoa. Māori and Pacific people will be eligible for the programme from 50 to 74 years; while the age range for other populations remains 60 to 74 years.
Māori and Pacific people in Tairāwhiti aged between 50 and 59, do not need to do anything. An invite will be sent to you in the mail, and followed by a bowel screening test kit.
Invitations will arrive around your birthday. People with a birth date that falls on an even number will be invited within the first 12 months of the lower age range being offered. Those with a birth date that falls on an odd number will be invited in the second 12 months.
For example, someone who is born on January 18 will get their invite in the first 12 months. Someone born on January 19 will get their invite in the second 12 months. Anyone who turns 50 will receive their invitation around the time of their birthday regardless of whether their birth date is odd or even.
Once you start on the programme, a bowel screening test kit will be sent to your home every two years while you are aged 50 to 74, usually mailed to you.
The bowel screening test is quick and simple to do by yourself at home. Make sure you do the test as soon as possible and send it back.
For further information see the national Time to Screen website, call 0800 924 432, or talk to your doctor.