Kiwis ‘needlessly’ dying of cancer
New Zealand’s death rate from cancer is 10 per cent higher than Australia’s, and bowel cancer is the major reason according to data recently released.
Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa chief executive Megan Smith says data presented at a New Zealand Cancer Control Trust meeting in Wellington last week show half of all ‘‘excess’’ cancer deaths in New Zealand are from bowel cancer.
Australians have had access to nationally funded bowel cancer screening for some time.
‘‘New Zealand lags behind Australia in terms of detection, screening, and treatment for bowel cancer,’’ Smith says.
‘‘The result is New Zealanders dying needlessly.’’
Latest updates issued by the Ministry of Health have indicated that in just two years, the Waite- mata DHB Bowel Cancer Screening Pilot has diagnosed 160 people with bowel cancer who had no symptoms.
Most of them were detected at an early stage when there is the best potential for cure.
This is in contrast to most Kiwis who have no access to nationally funded bowel cancer screening.