28 Dec 2011

Bowel screening pilot programme getting results

5:07 pm on 28 December 2011

The country's new bowel screening pilot programme has possibly saved the life of one of the first people to be tested.

Around 3000 people a year get bowel cancer and up to half of them die from it.

The pilot screening programme has been going in north and west Auckland since early November and the first colonoscopies were performed last week at North Shore Hospital.

More than half of the first 500 people to be invited to take part have done so.

As a result of their tests, two were referred to have internal checks and one of them had polyps removed that otherwise could have turned cancerous.

The four year pilot programme will try to twice screen 130,000 people in Waitemata and if successful should be followed by a national rollout.