Kingaroy has a 33 per cent higher incidence of bowel cancer than most other places in Australia but a new bowel screening program organised by Rotary aims to reduce this frightening figure

June 25, 2020

Bowel cancer kills almost as many Australians as lung cancer every year and while many people aren’t aware of this, Kingaroy is a hot spot for the disease.

Rotary reckons the town’s incidence of bowel cancer is roughly 33 per cent above the national average (and we bet the rest of the South Burnett would be in the same boat …)

Far from being an “old person’s disease”, roughly one-quarter of people diagnosed with bowel cancer are under 50.

Yet the disease can be detected up to a decade before it becomes lethal, and is 99 per cent curable if found early.

Because of this, Rotary has embarked on a national campaign Bowelscan campaign to raise bowel cancer awareness in “hot spots” such as Kingaroy and surrounds.

But organisers admit it’s probably one of the toughest jobs the service club has ever tackled.

How do they convince otherwise healthy residents under 50 that bowel cancer is a big enough threat to them that they respond to the campaign’s simple message: buy a Rotary test kit, swipe small sticks across your poo and send it off to be tested?

I bet you squirmed when I mentioned “poo”. See the problem?

The campaign has an important aim: saving lives.  About 850 Queenslanders die of bowel cancer each year.

It also has the potential to save money. Bowel cancer treatment costs an average of $120,000 per person, and the health system $1.1 billion annually.

Rotary wants to connect with sporting, volunteer and community groups, and businesses which can organise an order of 10 or more kits.

This will qualify for a 20 per cent discount, so it will only cost $16 to potentially save a life.

If the kits are ordered by June 30, buyers will have until the end of July to return them to the Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology collection centre in Kingaroy for testing.

Rotary members are also available to give a Zoom presentation to interested groups.

Bulk kits can be ordered (and Zoom meetings arranged) by email

Individual kits can also be bought online

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