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Philip Shouler on Bowel Cancer Screening

Philip Shouler on Bowel Cancer Screening

I can imagine that with this weeks' announcement of the first 2 DHB's in NZ to start bowel cancer screening that those responsible will be beating their chests with pride and self importance.

Instead they should be hanging their heads in shame as this token gesture comes 12 years after screening was introduced around the globe .NZ probably has the highest incidence of bowel cancer in the world but it will still be another 3 years before screening is universally available.

In 1991 whilst working in Scotland I ran that country's.first bowel cancer screening service. We showed quite categorically that this had huge benefits in reducing both morbidity and mortality in this disease.

Since then a string of non medical experts have found countless excuses for delaying the introduction of screening.

How many people have died unnecessarily of bowel cancer over these years and how many more will die before NZ has a comprehensive bowel cancer screening service
Philip Shouler MBE FRCS
Recently retired consultant surgeon

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