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Screening Programme Aims To Save A Thousand Lives A Year

Media Release
Date: 7th April 2011


National Pharmacy-Based Bowel Cancer Screening Programme Aims To Save A Thousand Lives A Year

Pharmacybrands, the country’s largest pharmacy group, will launch BowelScreen Aotearoa™, a pharmacy based nationwide bowel cancer screening programme in Wellington tomorrow (Friday 8th April), which aims to save the lives of more than a thousand New Zealanders every year.

BowelScreen Aotearoa™ is a pharmacy based cancer awareness, education and screening programme which uses InSure®, a simple, clinically proven faecal occult blood test , developed in Australia. The national programme is a collaboration between Pharmacybrands, Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa™ and Enterix, the manufacturer and accredited pathology lab for the InSure® test.

Sarah Derrett, chairman of Beat Bowel Cancer Aotearoa explains: `Bowel cancer kills more New Zealanders each year than breast or prostate cancer with those over 50 at higher risk. Medical experts agree that annual screening is recommended for people at risk and we believe that this programme may save the lives of many of the 2,700 people diagnosed every year with this disease.’

Alison Van Wyk, Pharmacybrands spokesman adds: ‘The first sign of bowel cancer is usually invisible but more than 90 per cent of people survive if it is treated before it has spread. Early detection through annual screening is vital. What this new service does is make screening as easy as possible. No one in the country is very far from one of our 300 pharmacies and contact details are on the website www.bowelscreenaotearoa.org . Or they can ask their pharmacist about BowelScreen Aotearoa™ and general bowel health.’

Alison says: `As New Zealand’s largest pharmacy group we believe it is important to develop new professional services to make a broader contribution to primary care and tackling the second biggest killer after lung cancer is something we are enormously proud to be involved with.’

Screening for bowel cancer involves a test for people who do not have any obvious symptoms of the disease. The aim is to find polyps or to find cancer early when it is easier to treat and cure. BowelScreen Aotearoa™ uses InSure® ,which is an immunochemical faecal occult blood test.

The Australian designed and manufactured test is clinically proven, sensitive and reliable. The test is -
• Simple
• Non-invasive
• Requires no faecal handling
• Highly accurate
• Requires no diet or medication restrictions
• Completed in the privacy of your own home

The BowelScreen test and accredited pathology services are provided by Enterix Australia (also known as the InSure® bowel screening service).

-Ends-

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