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What We Do

Through leading research and innovation, raising awareness and providing education, Gut Cancer Foundation have made it our mission to improve and save the lives of all New Zealanders affected by gut cancers.

Every year, over 5700 New Zealanders are diagnosed with a cancer of the digestive system. That’s 15 Kiwis every day. Chances are, most of us will know someone affected by a gut cancer in some way. And, with some of the lowest survival rates of any cancers in New Zealand, it has never been more important for us to understand and tackle this significant challenge faced by so many of our loved ones.

All of our work is underpinned with a commitment to achieving equitable access and outcomes for all New Zealanders. We are committed to improving outcomes for Māori, Pasifika and minorities affected by gut cancer, to ensure our mission is one that delivers for all New Zealanders.

Leading Research and Innovation

Thanks to our supporters, the Gut Cancer Foundation proudly funds research into the prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment of gut cancers. Our research programme is overseen by our Scientific Advisory Committee and is made up of the following strategic objectives:

  • We facilitate access to leading-edge clinical trials for New Zealanders.
  • We fund innovative research, supporting the brightest minds to contribute to global advancements into into the causes and treatments of gut cancers and helping New Zealanders access to the best care possible.
  • We collaborate with Australian and international research organisations to provide greater benefits to gut cancer patients in New Zealand.

Watch this short video from our founding board member, Professor Michael Findlay, to understand the importance of funding research and clinical trials in New Zealand

Watch this short video made to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer during World Pancreatic Cancer Month, 2021.

Raising awareness and providing education

We raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of gut cancers to ensure people get diagnosed earlier.

Right now, early detection is the best defence we have against the impacts of gut cancers. We don’t want another person to leave symptoms unchecked or questions unasked. That change starts with a conversation and those conversations need to start today.

By ensuring the symptoms of all gut cancers are better understood, we can normalise and amplify these important conversations, giving a much-needed voice to these often-undiscussed cancers.

Watch this short video made to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer during World Pancreatic Cancer Month, 2021.

Educate on cancer prevention

We educate people on how to prevent gut cancers, to reduce the number of people developing these diseases.

We want to ensure Kiwi’s understand the importance healthy eating and exercise can have for reducing these risks, and ultimately reducing the number of New Zealanders diagnosed with one of these diseases.

Our GIVE IT UP for Gut Cancer campaign is at the forefront of our work in this area, combining fundraising with vital awareness of the risk factors for cancers of the digestive system. The campaign has joined fundraising with vital awareness and practical advice.

Through the campaign and beyond we have created webinars and video content to help educate New Zealanders on how to reduce the risk of gut caners through healthy lifestyles and diet.


Watch this clip from TV3’s Newshub raising vital awareness of gut cancers and the GIVE IT UP campaign.

We provide comprehensive information on gut cancers

To help patients and whānau through their gut cancer journey and ensure they are best equipped to make decisions, we are committed to providing comprehensive resources including information on; diagnosis, treatment options, health and wellbeing. In addition to our existing resources we are committed to:

  • developing a dedicated on-line hub of information, accessible to all New Zealanders affected by gut cancers and their whānau.
  • developing comprehensive booklets and resources, accessible to all New Zealanders affected by gut cancers and their whānau.
  • partnering with expert and authentic organisations to ensure the information reaches communities most in need of support.

We are a voice for all cancers of the digestive system.

Gut cancers have amongst the lowest survival rates of all cancers in New Zealand. Pancreatic, oesophageal, liver, gallbladder, bile duct, and stomach cancer all have 5-year survival rates below 30%. Such stark statistics mean our role as a voice for all cancers of the digestive system is vital. As part of this role, we advocate on behalf of our community to try and ensure they have equitable access to treatment and care. This includes:

Building a gut cancer community.

None of this work would be possible without our dedicated community of supporters, funders, strategic partners, clinicians, and international collaborators. It is thanks to this community that we can fund research into gut cancers so New Zealanders can access innovative life-saving treatments, raise awareness and provide comprehensive information to enable equitable outcomes for all New Zealanders.

Our community is our heart and the personal stories we encounter on a daily basis are the driving force behind all we do.

Click here to find out more ways you can support our work.

Donate to GCF today

We appreciate any support you can give to help fund clinical research and raise awareness of Gut Cancers.