Wairarapa resident Hira Renata considers himself one of the lucky ones. He was one of the first people in New Zealand to participate in the National Bowel Screening Programme and he is so glad he did.
Hira has a family history of cancer. His father passed away from cancer of the oesophagus at 60 and six of his father’s seven brothers have died from various cancers.
“My generation, especially men, don’t seem to think about needing to take any test,” Hira said. “We all think we will be fine.”
Hira completed the home test and within a couple of weeks got a call to say blood had been found in his sample and he needed to have a colonoscopy. A large polyp was found and removed and Hira got a clean bill of health.
“Imagine if I hadn’t taken this test, what might have happened for me. My advice for anyone receiving the test pack in the mail, is simple. Do the check, it couldn’t be easier, and it saves lives.”