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Look out for warning signs of bowel cancer

Look out for warning signs of bowel cancer

19 June 2017

It’s one of those body parts that a lot of people don’t want to talk about, but a healthy bowel is crucial to our wellbeing.

So, let’s get talking and learn a bit more about our bowel.

The bowel, also called the colon or intestine, is a tube-like organ that is part of the alimentary canal or digestive tract - the small intestine leading from the stomach, with the large intestine ending at the anus or back passage.

Most digestion of food occurs in the small intestine, while the large intestine is where the leftovers form and get ready to leave our body. If our body is functioning well, we will have normal, healthy bowel movements but sometimes things can go wrong – one of the major indicators of this happening is when bowel motions change – there may be bleeding, we will notice that our movements are more fluid like and/or you may become constipated. These are warning signs and need to be checked out by a doctor.

Unfortunately, some of these symptoms can indicate bowel cancer, but, according to Bowel Cancer New Zealand, if caught early enough, 75% of bowel cancer cases can be cured.

New Zealand has one of the highest rates of bowel cancer and bowel cancer deaths in the developed world with more than 3000 people diagnosed and 1200 deaths from the disease each year.

Most bowel cancers start as benign growths on the wall of the bowel called polyps and will not go any further. One type, though, called adenoma can become cancerous and, if untreated, will form a tumour in the bowel, which can then metastasise - or spread - to other parts of the body, mainly the liver or lungs.

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki lead nurse, Esme Maloney says the earlier bowel cancer is caught, the easier it is to treat.

“This Month is Bowel Cancer Awareness month and an opportunity for people to become aware and recognise the signs and symptoms of bowel cancer,” she says. “If anyone has noticed any changes in their bowel movements or any other changes, they should see their doctor immediately.”

Other symptoms to look out for are soreness or strain when having a bowel motion, lumps and achiness, a persistent change in bowel habits, going to the toilet more often or experiencing looser stools for several weeks, abdominal pain - especially if severe, any lumps or mass in your tummy and weight loss and tiredness (a symptom of anaemia).

For more information, go to http://beatbowelcancer.org.nz/

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Kia ora te reo Māori

8 September 2017

 “Kia ora te reo Māori” is the theme for Māori Language Week from September 11-17.

The theme was chosen to celebrate New Zealand’s indigenous greeting and uplift and enliven te reo Māori.

Māori Language Week is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate and practice one of our three official languages.

In 2013, about 125,000 people spoke Māori in New Zealand – representing about 21 per cent of the Māori population and 3 per cent of all New Zealanders.

New figures from Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori show that there are now 130,000 people in New Zealand with “conversational fluency”, 300,000 school and 10,000 tertiary students learning the language, with more children picking it up in homes in places where it had died out in the seventies.

So, while Māori Language Week raises the awareness to speak te reo, let’s keep that awareness ongoing – say the words out loud so they become second nature.  Practice with your friends, whānau, fellow kaimahi, open and sign off your correspondence using new phrases and this time next year you’ll be that much more fluent and comfortable speaking te reo. 

Currently there are a number of opportunities to engage in te reo learning through Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki and also through Te Whare Tāhuhu Kōrero o Hauraki and Te Wānanga o Aotearoa.

Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has provided some great resources on their website to help you learn more words and phrases, including booklets, with some in comic and picture form so you can visually make the word associations.

And if you want to take it that step further, a reo challenge from Mahuru Māori is to speak, read and write EVERYTHING in Māori for the month of September - regardless of who you speak to, where you speak it, and when you speak it. It’s a tall challenge for some, but if you’re up for it and want to sign up, go to https://www.twoa.ac.nz/campaigns/MahuruMaori2017

To celebrate the launch of Māori Language Week, Te Taura Whiri i te Reo Māori has planned a parade in Te Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) on Monday, September 11 and is encouraging groups from the community to join in, including universities, wānanga, schools, kura, play centres, early childhood centres, kindergartens, kōhanga reo, sports teams, groups, kapa haka, marae and hapū.

Kia pai te mutunga wiki whānau.

 

 

Cervical screening saves lives

5 September 2017

It’s promoted as the “best not so nice thing” a woman can do for herself.

But cervical screening can, and does, save lives.

September is Cervical Screening Awareness Month and a reminder for women (wāhine)and their whānau to consider their own health and make cervical screening a priority.

Every year, 160 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and of those women, 50 will die from this devastating disease.

Women are often so busy being mums, daughters, sisters and friends attending to everyone else’s needs, that they often overlook their own health care.

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Nurse Practitioner Esme Moloney says it is important women consider their own health and make cervical screening a priority.

“I understand that many women are embarrassed or whakāma about having a cervical smear test, but our clinic’s nurses will do everything they can to make sure women feel comfortable during the short procedure,” she says.   

Cervical cancer refers to the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells in the cervix, the lower part of the uterus (womb).  It is one of the easiest cancers to prevent – as long as the cell changes that cause the cancer are detected early.

 “Cervical screening can pick up any abnormalities many years before they are able to turn into cancer,” Esme says.

Since the national screening programme started in 1990, the number of women who die of cervical cancer has dropped by nearly two thirds.

Regular three-yearly cervical smear tests are recommended for all women aged 20 to 70 who have ever been sexually active.

Cervical screening takes about 10 minutes and is free for Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki patients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FACT BOX

   

Without screening, about 1 in 90 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 200 dying from it, whereas with screening, 1 out of 570 women will develop cervical cancer, with 1 out of 1280 dying from it.

Turaukawa crowned Māori Trainee of the Year

21 August 2017

Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki Youth AOD - INTact youth worker/counsellor Turaukawa Bartlett was crowned Māori Trainee of the Year at the Careerforce Training Excellence Awards in Wellington this month.

The awards are an opportunity to recognise and reward dedicated people who show commitment to training, a desire to improve in their role and contribute to their communities.

The categories included Apprentice of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Māori Trainee of the Year and Pasifika Trainee of the Year, as well as the Workforce Development Employer of the Year award for the organisation, company or business that offers exceptional training to Careerforce trainees and apprentices.

Turaukawa was the first apprentice in New Zealand to complete the National Apprenticeship in Mental Health and Addictions.

Careerforce’s Chief Executive Ray Lind says there was an extremely high calibre of applicants for this year’s Training Excellence Awards.

 “It was a tremendous honour to read through the many applications from trainees and apprentices across New Zealand, an extremely difficult challenge to narrow these down to finalists and ultimately, the winners,” he says.

 “The winners have all been chosen because of their commitment to training, their own professional development and the wonderful contributions they have made to their workplaces and communities,” he says.

Turaukawa provides school and community-based AOD (Alcohol and Other Drug) education and leadership programmes in the Hauraki rohe, centred on mana enhancement and the strengthening of whānau and community resiliency.

He says the award represents hope for all whānau, particularly Māori, to view education as a pathway to personal, whānau and community transformation and he will continue to provide the inspiration and tools to help them achieve those goals.

 “I aspire to be in a position where I can inspire more whānau; particularly rangatahi to becoming the leaders they truly are,” he says.

Careerforce is the Industry Training Organisation (ITO) for the hygiene, health and wellbeing sectors. The ITO supports employers across New Zealand to implement workplace-based training programs so staff can gain nationally-recognised qualifications through on-job training.

The ceremony also included the graduation of 31 of the first ever health and wellbeing apprentices from various workplaces across New Zealand.

Under 5 Energise programme cuts tooth decay

27 June 2017

Cutting out sugar has cut tooth decay in Waikato preschool children by a fifth, according to an article in the NZ Herald.

The Under 5 Energize programme, started in 2013 in 121 of the Waikato's 500 early childhood centres, has cut the number of children with visible tooth decay in their before-school health checks from 10.9 per cent to 8.7 per cent.

Under 5 Energize is contracted to Te Korowai Hauora o Hauraki to cover the Thames-Hauraki rohe.

For full story, click on the link below: 

Healthier kids

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