Health officials in Hawke’s Bay are trying to curb the high rate of bowel cancer deaths among Pasifika people by encouraging them to take screening tests.

With Hawke’s Bay DHB joining the National Bowel Screening Program earlier this month, the Pasifika community will be urged to get bowel checks. A series of information meetings with Maori and Pasifika communities around the region has started to raise awareness and talk about bowel cancer and explain how the program works.

Many people can be embarrassed to explain their symptoms to a GP, but anyone, of any age, should see their doctor immediately if they had symptoms, including a change in toilet habits, diarrhoea and blood in their stool.

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