8 May 2013

Bowel screening pilot detects cancer in 60 people

9:02 pm on 8 May 2013

A pilot bowel screening programme has detected cancer in 60 people in its first full year.

Health Minister Tony Ryall says it's a positive start, but it is too early to say if full national screening will follow.

The Waitemata District Health Board in Auckland began offering bowel screening under the pilot programme in January last year.

A report covering its first full year says cancer was found in 60 people. Most of it was an an early stage when the outcome is generally good.

Mr Ryall says it is a positive start and offers vital information.

He says towards the end of the four-year pilot the Government will decide whether to roll out a national programme.

The Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa lobby group says it would like a staged national rollout to start now.