About bowel screening
The National Bowel Screening Programme is a free programme to help detect bowel cancer.
It is being offered every two years to people aged 60 to 74 years who are eligible for publicly funded health care. Information on who is eligible for publicly funded health services is available on the Ministry of Health website or by phoning 0800 924 432 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are eligible to take part, you will be sent:
- an invitation letter
- a consent form
- a free bowel screening test kit, with instructions on how to use it.
The test can be done at home and is simple to do. Find out more at Doing the test.
Screening tests can find bowel cancer early
Bowel screening every two years can help save lives by finding bowel cancer at an early stage, when it can often be successfully treated.
There may be no warning signs that you have bowel cancer.
Further investigation can also detect polyps (growths). These are not cancer, but they may develop into a cancer over a number of years. Most polyps can be easily removed, reducing the risk that bowel cancer will develop.
If you develop any symptoms of bowel cancer, it is important that you talk to your doctor. Find out more at About bowel cancer.
Preventing bowel cancer
There is no certain way to prevent bowel cancer, but there are some things that can increase or reduce your risk. Find out more at Can bowel cancer be prevented?
Protecting your privacy
Information on any further assessment or treatment you may have will be collected from and disclosed to both public and private health services to assist in managing your health care, and to monitor and evaluate the National Bowel Screening Programme.
Personal information and data are collected, held, accessed and destroyed in accordance with the Health Information Privacy Code 2020 and the Health Act 1956.
Find out more about privacy.
If you want to make a complaint
The Code of Health and Disability Services Consumers’ Rights allows you to make a complaint in a way that is appropriate for you.