(3 minutes to read)
Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust is strongly committed to raising the awareness of Bowel Cancer within New Zealand and to assist the early detection of the disease and making a difference.
The Foundation supports the Governments current Bowel Screening Pilot Program in the Waitemata District which has so far detected and saved the lives of 160 people with bowel cancer in the last two years.
The Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust recognises the need for dedicated resources towards a National Workforce Development Program.
Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust fundraising efforts are directed towards reducing colonoscopy waiting lists and supporting the ongoing training of colorectal nurses for New Zealanders.
The more colonoscopies performed and the more nurses available to detect the symptoms and cancers, the more lives will be saved.
The Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust is committed to multiple initiatives to generate early detection tools including:
Short term initiative: The purchase of 100 Pill cams at a cost of $1,000 each to help reduce waiting lists without the need for trained colorectal nurses.
Long term initiative: Train 10 x colorectal nurses in Auckland to aid the re build of the colorectal specialist workforce.
In the last two years 67,500 people have taken part in the Pilot Bowel Screening Program in the Waitemata DHB. They took samples of their faecal matter and sent it away to be tested for traces of blood which would be a strong indicator of polyps which could lead to bowel cancer.
Of those, 4,300 yielded positive results warranting further investigation in the form of colonoscopies. This costs the Government over $1,500 each to perform along with other charges related to polyp removal and anaesthesia.
From the 4,300 tested, 160 bowel cancers were detected and could be treated in patients who quite often showed no symptoms at all.
There are 40,000 publicly funded colonoscopies ordered each year in NZ but there is a 10,000 shortfall. Our medical workforce is not big enough to cope with this current demand. This is without a bowel screening nationwide rollout.
The Government has estimated it would need an extra 100 specialists for a nationwide bowel screening roll out but they have recently predicted they could supply only 40 of these in the next decade.
Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust has a long term strategy of training as many colorectal nurses to specialise in colonoscopies as our fundraising allows.
We feel we can impact and aid this shortfall.
In the meantime the FDA in the US has just approved the lower bowel pill cam to help aid detection of polyps and early bowel cancer.
More than three million patients around the world have benefited from pill cam capsule endoscopy with physicians being able to visualise with high accuracy the small bowel, oesophagus and colon for abnormalities.
Most Kiwi’s we have spoken to, hate the idea of a colonoscopy where a camera is inserted into the patients bottom via a long tube to try and detect abnormalities. Given the option, they would much rather swallow a pill and carry on with their daily activities.
The Bowel Cancer Foundation Trust wants to purchase 100 x pill cams to help reduce the waiting list for those patients who need a colonoscopy.
This is a more cost effective way to detect possible cancers in patients without the need for colorectal nurses in the short term.
We want to prove that if a far less invasive detection tool was available, more Kiwi’s will take part in a nationwide rollout when it comes and take a more proactive approach to their health.
We need your help through donations to achieve this and make a tremendous difference to Kiwi lives.
Please donate now.