The Cancer Society says research published today backs up what doctors already know about bowel cancer.

They say the research is another reason why the Government should implement the proposed national bowel cancer screening programme.

Auckland University’s research, published in today’s PLos One medical journal, shows New Zealand has a lower survival rate from cancer than Australia.

Medical Director Chris Jackson says the programme’s ready to go and we should follow suit with Australia, which already has one.

Jackson says

a bowel cancer screening programme would certainly improve the cure rates from bowel cancer in New Zealand.

“We know from other work that a third of patients with bowel cancer proceed to the emergency department as their first presentation and that shows we’ve got a lot of work to do in terms of early diagnosis of bowel cancer”.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand says a hundred people a month are dying from the disease and the Government needs to do something urgently.

BCNZ executive member Sarah Derrett says

it’s time this condition was taken seriously

due to the significant delays being reported by a primary care professional and the delayed access to colonoscopy services.