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Each year in Aotearoa more than 26,000 people are diagnosed with cancer and approximately 9,000 die from cancer. In the Southern DHB region 2,002 people were diagnosed with cancer in 2019, and the region had the highest rate of bowel cancer diagnosis. Inequities exist regarding cancer statistics for different population groups, including Māori who are more likely to be diagnosed and die from many cancers compared with non-Māori.

Cancer screening programmes are designed to prevent some cancers from developing and to detect cancers in healthy individuals who do not yet have symptoms, to allow for early and more successful treatment.

Recent or current projects

Canine Medical Detection in Southern Aotearoa: Public perceptions of acceptability

A new development in cancer screening is training canines to detect cancer in patient urine samples, with the aim of addressing some of the problems that are associated with current cancer screening. Participation in screening programmes is vital for their success, and many factors may influence whether people participate or not, including the acceptability of screening programmes to eligible participants.

Many studies have been undertaken exploring the acceptability of current screening programmes, but no research to date has studied the public's perceptions of the acceptability of canines for detection of cancer or other diseases from a urine sample.

This study uses qualitative face-to-face interviews to explore the acceptability of canine detection of cancer in the Southern region among those who have never had a cancer diagnosis, and those who have previously received a cancer diagnosis, particularly those people identifying as Māori.

Research team

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