Bowel screening involves investigations in people who do not have a personal or family history of bowel cancer, or any obvious symptoms of the disease. The aim of screening is to detect very early stage bowel cancer or any polyps when they are easier to treat and cure. Ongoing regular surveillance is arranged if required. Christchurch Endoscopy encourages all New Zealanders to be vigilant of any bowel symptoms or risk factors that may indicate further investigation is required.
If people have a family history or any of the symptoms of bowel cancer (change of bowel habit, rectal bleeding, tiredness, pale complexion, unexplained weight loss, a lump or mass in the tummy and/or persistent abdominal pain) they should go directly to their GP.