Published August 24th 2021

E-Referrals to Bowel Cancer New Zealand can now be made using CareSelect.

Referrals were previously sent via email, phone or Bowel Cancer New Zealand’s website.

Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in New Zealand and kills as many people as breast and prostate cancer combined. And we have one of the highest rates of bowel cancer in the world.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand nurse support co-ordinator and registered nurse Victoria Thompson says that while these statistics are sobering, there is hope.

“Bowel cancer is treatable and beatable if it’s detected early enough,” she says.

“The more people affected by bowel cancer that we can support, the better. The new e-Referral form will make it easier for patients to be referred to us so they can get the support they need.”


Variety of support available

Bowel Cancer New Zealand provides support for people living with bowel cancer and those recovering from treatment, as well as their whānau.

“We offer funded support in the form of free rehabilitative physiotherapy and counselling sessions, as well as support services, resources and patient and whānau support groups.”

Victoria is also available to answer non-urgent inquiries via the website, the 0800 BCNZ NURSE phone number or email, Monday to Thursday from 10am-4pm.


Bowel cancer affects any age group

Victoria says bowel cancer can affect anyone at any age.

“Bowel cancer is not just something elderly people can develop. It also affects a lot of young people too. Around 30 Kiwis aged 50 or under are diagnosed with bowel cancer each month.”

She says it’s crucial that people are aware of the symptoms of bowel cancer, which may include:

  • rectal bleeding
  • change of bowel motions/habits that come and go over several weeks
  • anaemia
  • severe persistent or periodic abdominal pain
  • a lump or mass in the abdomen
  • tiredness and loss of weight for no obvious reason.

Bowel Cancer New Zealand’s Never Too Young campaign runs through the month of August and highlights the fact that bowel cancer affects young people too, she says.

“If a young person presents with bowel cancer symptoms, it shouldn’t be dismissed because of their age. It should be investigated further.”


How to refer to Bowel Cancer New Zealand:

  • open the patient record
  • select the HealthLink icon
  • use the CareSelect search bar, type “Bowel Cancer New Zealand”
  • click “Compose Referral”.