20 May 2020

Bowel Cancer screening won't restart until June

From Morning Report, 6:48 am on 20 May 2020

National screening for one of the country's biggest cancer killers won't start again until the end of June.

New home screening kits for the National Bowel Screening Programme have not been sent out since lockdown hit.

People who already had the kits can now send samples in for testing but it will be another month until new ones are sent out. The Cancer Control Agency says health services have a balancing act as they catch up after the lockdown.

Because colonoscopies could not be performed, they have to make sure people who developed symptoms or need follow ups now are seen as soon as possible.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand's Mary Bradley says the system should be better in the first place.