Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE -

June is Beat Bowel Can­cer Aware­ness Month.

New Zealand has one of the high­est rates of bowel can­cer in the world.

Roy Muli­talo says if he hadn’t had a sore back his doc­tors might not have picked up on his con­di­tion un­til much later.

Peo­ple need to be tested reg­u­larly, he says.

‘‘There’s no warn­ing and it can just come up out of nowhere. And the only real pro­tec­tion is early de­tec­tion.

‘‘So whether it’s via their GP or a bowel can­cer spe­cial­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion, some sort of regular testing is the only way,’’ he says.

More than 3000 peo­ple are di­ag­nosed with bowel can­cer each year and more than 1200 die as a re­sult.

That’s the equiv­a­lent of more than 100 New Zealan­ders ev­ery month and matches the com­bined death toll from prostate and breast can­cer.

Un­like breast, cer­vi­cal or prostate can­cer, the bowel dis­ease does not have a na­tional screen­ing pro­gramme or a public aware­ness cam­paign.

New Zealand women have the high­est rate of bowel can­cer in the world and Kiwi men the third high­est.

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