Council partners with Rotary on an important health issue - Screen early for bowel cancer and save lives

Council partners with Rotary on an important health issue - Screen early for bowel cancer and save lives

21 July 2021

Council partners with Rotary on an important health issue: Screen early for bowel cancer and save lives

It might take a village to raise a child but it will take a whole community to beat bowel cancer. According to the Australian Cancer Atlas, Warwick is 27% above the national average for excess bowel cancer deaths. Along with the Southern Downs Regional Council, the Queensland Rotary Bowelscan Committee is hoping that a whole-of-town approach will turn that around with an important awareness campaign.

Starting Monday 19 through to Sunday 25 July, the #GetYourBumIntoGearWarwick Week wants to grab the attention of the whole town including Council, health professionals, businesses, sporting groups and volunteer groups. Following on from the highly successful #GetYourBumIntoGearQLD Tour last April, Rotary is hoping to raise awareness of bowel cancer, the symptoms, encouraging over 50s to use the free government test kits and to help prevent early onset under age 50 bowel cancers.

Spokesperson for the Queensland Rotary Bowelscan Committee, Mal Padgett, said, "Many think bowel cancer is just an old person’s disease but 10% are under 50. That is around 1550 Australians annually or 30 young people a week are told, 'You have bowel cancer.’”

“On our recent tour through Queensland, the people we met in Warwick were visibly shocked when they heard that high bowel cancer statistic for their town. Everyone we met had no idea and all wanted to know how they can help. #GetYourBumIntoGearWarwick is an opportunity to rally the whole community to fight this preventable disease.”

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said that it is important to normalise this disease and talking openly about the very affordable and easily available screening tests is one way to get the message out.

“A small investment in your health today could be saving your life tomorrow,” Mayor Pennisi said.

“It is important to get screened and I am calling on our local media and community organisations to spread the message through your community or workplace anyway you can so that we can get this number down and save lives.”

On Rotary’s #BowelscanQLD social media, they have interviewed five young Queenslanders from age 29 to 39 for their #2Young4BowelCancer campaign, all of whom have challenging stories of how their lives were turned upside-down when they contracted early onset bowel cancer. 

Around 15,500 people contract bowel cancer a year which is the second highest cancer killer and the third most diagnosed cancer.

If it is found early enough it is 98% curable but only 50% are found early. If it is found at stage 4, the five year survival rate drops to 16%.

Only 42% of the free Federal Government bowel cancer test kits are returned, only one in three people between 50 and 55 use them.

Rotary are selling their test kits online for $20 or you can buy one at your local pharmacy.

Until 31 July, search for #BowelscanQLD to find and follow Rotary’s campaign social media and also to purchase a kit online.

Find songs to smash bowel cancer with on Spotify, posters for your workplace, merchandise and interviews via Rotary’s or scan the QR code in the poster attached.

For more information contact: ROTARY: Mal Padgett - 0417 307 708 -


Bowelscan QLD_Rotary Poster 2021

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