As the streets are sprinkled with yellow and collectors are at the ready for Daffodil Day, it’s a timely reminder for people to check they’re up to date with regular screening and checks.
That’s the message from The Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners who are reminding people on Daffodil Day to know their normal and to see their GP if something has changed for them.
The College’s medical director Dr Bryan Betty says, "Having a strong relationship with your GP and knowing what your normal is, is central to catching cancer while it still has effective treatment options.
"If what you know as normal for you has changed then give your GP a call," he says.
Dr Betty says it’s also important to keep up with regular screening programmes, like cervical smears, prostate exams, mammograms, and skin and mole checks.
"There are several cancers now that have medication and treatment options that make them survivable, chronic conditions rather than death sentences," says Dr Betty.
New Zealand has one of the highest cancer rates in the world. Seventy percent of cancers occur in people older than 50 and those rates increase with age. It’s thought that over time, as we live longer, more people will get cancer, but fewer will potentially die of it.