More than 375 people with bowel cancer have been detected and hundreds of potentially cancerous polyps removed from patients within the first two years of the launch of the National Bowel Screening Programme (NBSP).

Launched in 2017 after a successful pilot programme in the Waitemata DHB, the NBSP newly released figures show that more than 300,000 home test kits have been sent out despite it being available in only 8 out 20 DHB's to date.

"It’s exciting to have another two District Health Boards about to join the programme. Whanganui and MidCentral are set to launch in the next two months, subject to Ministry approval," said Susan Parry, Clinical Director of the NBSP in the Ministry of Health's September newsletter update.

Whanganui and Mid Central DHB were due to join in June this year but were delayed until the end of the year when the new IT system, The National Screening Solution, was due to go live. The IT system is now expected to be up and running in the early part of next year.

The 2 year anniversary coincides with the release of the New Zealand Cancer Action plan earlier this month. It has been described as a comprehensive plan for better cancer prevention, treatment and care in New Zealand over the next 10 years, detailing how New Zealanders living with cancer will have access to high-quality care no matter who they are, or where they live.