Bowel Screening Programme

Hawke’s Bay DHB saving lives through Bowel Screening

Hawke’s Bay DHB offers free bowel screening for men and women aged 60-74 years of age.

Bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer or colon cancer, is any cancer that affects the colon (large bowel) and rectum (back passage).

The disease kills over 1,200 people every year. People who are diagnosed with early stage bowel cancer, and who receive treatment early, have a 90% chance of long term survival.

Bowel screening every two years can help save lives. A positive test can lead to a colonoscopy which may find and remove pre-cancerous polyps or detect bowel cancer at an early stage when it can often be successfully treated.

Screening is free for those who are eligible, as are any follow-up tests or treatment.

Testing is done at home using a bowel screening test kit received through the mail.  The kit is quick, easy and simple to do by yourself at home and is returned by post.

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You do not need to register to participate in the screening programme, anyone who is eligible to participate will automatically receive an invitation in the mail. However, people aged 60 to 74 years of age are encouraged to check that their address details are up to date with their GP.

People who are eligible are those entitled to receive public healthcare, and who are not currently receiving treatment, or surveillance for bowel cancer.

Please note: If you do have unusual bowel symptoms, don’t wait to be screened. Screening is for people who have no symptoms of bowel cancer. People of any age with unusual bowel symptoms should contact their doctor immediately.  

More information

  • About the national screening programme The National Bowel Screening Programme is being progressively rolled out throughout New Zealand. Read more
  • About bowel cancer Bowel cancer is a malignant growth that develops inside the bowel. It is also called colon, rectal or colorectal cancer. Read more
  • Why regular bowel screening is important New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world. Regular bowel screening every two years can help detect cancer at an early stage, when it can be more successfully treated. Read more
  • About the bowel screening test The free bowel screening test is simple, clean and fast to do. You do it by yourself at home. Read more
  • Your bowel screening test result You will receive a letter with your results and information about what this means for you. You may also receive a call from your doctor or a nurse.  Read more
  • Information on bowel screening in other languages How to access information on bowel screening in te reo Māori, Cook Island Māori, Samoan, Tongan, Niuean, Hindi, Chinese and Korean.  Read more

To talk to someone about the bowel screening programme call Freephone 0800 924 432.