Dear Santa, all we really want is Queenslanders’ poo

Now there are those, not many, but some, who after Christmas gifts are handed out feel like they’ve been given a gift of it… but now we have a Government department begging for it for Christmas…

Stool analysis Stool examination Stool test
Queensland Health wants to see our poo…and they say sending will save lives.

The Health Department say Queenslanders are lagging most other jurisdictions for bowel cancer screening participation rates and they want us to do something about it over the festive season.

Executive Director of Queensland Health’s Preventative Health Branch Kaye Pulsford says the latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare figures for the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program (NBCSP) showed participation of Queenslanders aged between 50 and 74 in the Program sat at only 40.4 %.

“Taking care of your health is the best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones this festive season. Given this potentially life-saving test is free and the screening kits arrive by post – and your number twos will also arrive regardless; then there really is no excuse not to be screened.”

Since the NBCSP began in 2006, about 3.5 million screening tests have been completed and about 186,000 participants have undergone a diagnostic assessment following a positive screening result.

MS Pulsford says that most cancers detected through the NBCSP have been at the earliest stages, and that when found early up to 90 % of bowel cancer cases can be successfully treated.

“This reaffirms the potential life-saving value of this free test to Queenslanders.”

Ms Pulsford says there are some known risk factors for bowel cancer with the majority deriving from lifestyle choices.

“There are a proportion of cases – somewhere about 20 %, that are identified as hereditary, with the remainder being caused by choices that are usually within our ability to change.”

Lifestyle factors associated with an increased risk of bowel cancer include being overweight or obese, high intake of particular foods, such as processed meat, high alcohol consumption and smoking.

The screening program is free to all eligible Australians with a Medicare card and a postal address. The NBCSP is currently expanding and by 2020 all eligible Australians aged 50 – 74 years will receive a free kit.

Screening is recommended every two years for men and women aged 50 – 74 years. For more information visit